Berlin

Wilson Kipsang shatters marathon world record in Berlin

The 40th edition of the BMW BERLIN MARATHON took place on September 29, 2013 Weather: near perfect conditions 7C at start to 11C at the finish, (44F to 52F during race time) sunny, and light winds 7mph from the East.

BMW Berlin Marathon - Men's Race

Wilson Kipsang (Kenya) smashed the Men's World Record as he won the Men's race at the BMW Berlin Marathon today, running 2:03:23, surpassing the old record set by Patrick Makau, (Kenya) also in Berlin in 2011 of 2:03:38.

The halfway was reached in 61:32 with two pacers doing a good job leading eight principals. By the time the last pacer left the race at 32km, Wilson Kipsang was pushing the pace ahead of his fellow countrymen Eliud Kipchoge and Geoffrey Kipsang, who were the last three survivors of the torrid pace. Kipchoge tried to stay close, but Kipsang was majestic as he pulled away to break the World Record by 15 seconds. For the statisticians the 10km splits were 29:17; 29;02; 29:42 and 29:11. Even more impressive was the fact that Wilson Kipsang ran both the 41st and 42nd km in 2:49. With the win, Wilson Kipsang now moves to 2nd place with 61 points on the current WMM Series table, but cannot become Champion without racing in Chicago or New York to try to gain more points, which is highly unlikely

BMW Berlin Marathon - Women's Race

Florence Kiplagat (Kenya) dominated the Women's Race in the 2013 BMW Berlin Marathon. Leading from the start, she passed the halfway point in 69:45 with countrywoman Sharon Cherop in her shadow, but by 40km Kiplagat was clear of Cherop by 41 seconds. Florence Kiplagat cruised through the Brandenburg Gate and on to victory in 2:21:13 ahead of Sharon Cherop in 2:22:28. In third place Germany's Irina Mikitenko set a new Masters‘ World Record of 2:24:54. Although Cherop now moves to equal second place in the current WMM Series standings with 50 points, tied with Priscah Jeptoo, it does not materially impact the 2012-2013 World Marathon Majors Series for Women, as Cherop is unlikely to double back to raceagain in either Chicago or New York.

THE WMM TITLE CHASES

The races to be the World Marathon Majors Champion for both Men and Women for 2012-2013 Series are now at an intriguing point, as each Champion will earn $500,000. It would be unusual for any athlete to come back from racing in Berlin to race in either the Bank of America Chicago Marathon or the ING New York City Marathon in the next five weeks. As this possibility would be a most unlikely scenario, the picture becomes clearer about the possibilities of who could win the 2012- 2013 World Marathon Majors Series for both Men and Women. The male elite athletes declared to race in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 13th, are not likely to gain enough points to challenge for the WMM Series Championship this year. But on the Women's side Rita Jeptoo (Kenya) can affect the 2012-2013 Women's World Marathon Majors Championship, prior to the final showdown in the ING New York City Marathon on November 3rd. A win by Rita Jeptoo (Kenya) in Chicago can move her to be the new Series leader on 65 points. Such a case would force, Kiplagat or Priscah Jeptoo to finish first or second in New York to overtake Rita Jeptoo for the WMM title.

The Men's chase to be the 2012-2013 World Marathon Majors' Series Champion seems to be coming down to 2012 Olympic Champion and 2013 IAAF World Champion Stephen Kiprotich (Uganda), and the current WMM Series points leader on 65 points, Tsegaye Kebede (Ethiopia). Both athletes will race in the ING New York City Marathon on November 3rd. With the four best races to count in points scoring for any athlete, the various scenarios are intriguing.

Kiprotich currently has 50 points, and if he wins in New York, he is the clear Champion, because even a second place finish by Kebede in New York can only move the Ethiopian to 75 points, which would tie with Kiprotich on 75 points, but Kiprotich wins the title and the $500,000 in head-to-head competition. However Kebede can win the title if he wins in New York, and moves to 85 points. Or if Kebede finishes ahead of Kiprotich in New York, then Kebede is Champion. Or, if Kiprotich finshes second in New York, and Kebede finishes fourth place or lower, then Kiprotich wins the Championship with 65 points (tied points with Kebede but Kiprotich again wins the title based on head-to head competition.)

A finish by Kiprotich of third place or lower in New York, means that Kebede is the Champion, no matter where he finishes.

Depending what happens with Rita Jeptoo in Chicago, the WMM Women's race is most likely down to two main contenders: the 2013 Virgin London Marathon Champion Priscah Jeptoo will face Edna Kiplagat (Kenya) for a showdown for the WMM Series title at the ING New York City Marathon on November 3rd. Edna Kiplagat leads with 55 points over Priscah Jeptoo with 50 points. Both women would need a first or second place New York finish to overtake Rita Jeptoo.

So the intrigue continues in the battles to be the 2012-13 World marathon majors' Champions. Next races are the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 3rd, and the ING New York City Marathon on November 3rd.