Eliud Kipchoge will return to the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON on 25 September, four years after his spectacular world record there. The race organisers announced his participation today, confirming the presence of the greatest marathon runner of all time in their event.
The Kenyan superstar won Germany’s running showcase and broke the world record with 2:01:39 in 2018 which remains the world’s fastest legal marathon time.
Kipchoge returns not only as the fastest man ever in the marathon but as the double Olympic champion in the event, having retained the title in Japan last year following his triumph in Rio in 2016.
SCC EVENTS, the organisers for the 48th edition of the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON, expect around 45,000 participants from some 150 countries. With these numbers the race will return to the size it used to have before the pandemic.
Eliud Kipchoge apart, another top contender will be the defending champion Guye Adola. The Ethiopian won last year’s race in 2:05:45.
The BMW BERLIN-MARATHON is part of the Abbott World Marathon Majors and a World Athletics Platinum Label Road Race.
“We are delighted that Eliud Kipchoge will be running the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON for the fifth time. In Guye Adola we also have an athlete who could be capable of challenging him. We hope it will be a high quality, exciting race, a showpiece for the whole sport of running,” said race director Mark Milde.
Certainly Berlin can lay claim to being Eliud Kipchoge’s favourite destination for the marathon since he will have competed there more than anywhere else. After finishing second in 2013 he won in 2015, 2017 and 2018.
A fourth victory would take Kipchoge level with the Ethiopian legend Haile Gebrselassie, who currently holds the record outright for most wins in Berlin.
At the age of 37, Eliud Kipchoge has won all but two of the 18 marathons he has contested.
Among his successes have been two in which he delivered “records” which did not conform to the record book: in Milan in 2017 and Vienna two years later, Kipchoge went hunting for the first sub-two hour marathon, achieving his goal in Vienna’s Prater Park in 2019 with his time of 1:59:40.2. It was a performance characterised by headlines around the world as “Kipchoge’s Moon Landing”.
The World athlete of the Year for 2018 and 2019 did not want to set any definite goals with almost three months to go before the race in Berlin. But Eliud Kipchoge was happy to make one point clear, at least: “Berlin is the fastest course. It’s where a human being can showcase their potential to push the limits.”
The form of the four-time Abbott World Marathon Majors winner (2016 to 2019), has been as strong as ever in recent times. The Kenyan won the Tokyo Marathon in 2:02:40 in March, breaking the course record with the fourth fastest marathon in history.
Eliud Kipchoge will have to be ready to run fast for victory on September 25 since his rivals will be high quality once again.
Joining him on the start line, Guye Adola is not only the defending champion but the athlete who nearly defeated him in 2017. The Ethiopian led in the closing stages in Berlin to run what remains his personal best of 2:03:46, finishing runner-up, 14 seconds behind Kipchoge.
“I’m delighted to be again running the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON and in defence of my title. I always have good feelings about the race in Berlin because it was where I made my debut at the distance and it’s still my personal best. My aim is to run under 2:03,” said Guye Adola.