It’s a double victory for Ethiopia in the German capital city on Sunday as the country swept both the Men’s and Women’s titles at the 46th BMW Berlin-Marathon in a race that has been described by journalists as one of the craziest in the history of the sport.
Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele has won his second Berlin Marathon’s Men race, crossing the line in a time of two hours one minute and 41 seconds – just two seconds short of the world record.
Bekele, winner in Berlin in 2016 and world record holder over 5,000 and 10,000 meters, finished in two hours, one minute and 41 seconds, narrowly missing Eliud Kipchoge’s world record time, on Sunday in the German capital city.
For good measure, the 37-year-old Ethiopian set a national record and the fastest time in the world this year.
Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge set the world record time of 2:01:39 in Berlin in 2018. Kipchoge was absent in Berlin to prepare for his renewed sub-two hour marathon attempt in Vienna on 12 October.
Behind Kenenisa Bekele his fellow Ethiopian Birhanu Legese finished second in 2:02:48 to become the third fastest marathoner in history. Third place went to their countryman Sisay Lemma, running a personal best of 2:03:36 to complete the Ethiopian clean sweep.
In the women’s race, Ethiopian Ashete Bekere beat out compatriot Mare Dibaba with 2:20:14. Kenya’s Sally Chepyego was third at in 2:21:06.
Britain’s Paula Radcliffe holds the women’s best of 2:15:25 from London in 2003.
A record total of 46,983 runners from 150 countries entered the 46th edition of the BMW Berlin-Marathon.
The Berlin Marathon (branded BMW Berlin Marathon for sponsorship reasons) is a major running and sporting event held annually in Berlin. The official marathon distance of 42.195 kilometres is set up as a citywide road race where professional athletes and amateur runners jointly participate. Initiated in 1974, the event traditionally takes place on the last weekend in September.
The Berlin marathon is one of the largest and most popular road races in the world. In 2018, 61,390 participants in total from 133 nations (and about 11,000 Breakfast-Run participants). 40,775 runners finished the race (28,443 men, 12,332 women).
Along with five other races, it forms the World Marathon Majors (Abbott World Marathon Majors), a series offering a $1 million prize purse to be split equally between the top male and female marathoners.
The event is split over 2 days. About 8,000 additional inline skaters compete at the marathon course the Saturday before the running event on Sunday. Power walkers, handbikers, wheelchair riders, and a children’s marathon (4.2195 km) are also part of the marathon weekend, which is organised by SCC EVENTS and currently sponsored by BMW.