Berlin Marathon

Berlin Marathon
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Berlin Marathon the first major fall marathon to be altered due to coronavirus

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The Berlin Marathon “will not be able to go ahead as planned” on Sept. 27 after the local government ruled events with more than 5,000 people are banned until Oct. 24.

It’s not known if the World Marathon Major event, which last year had 62,444 participants across all events, will be canceled, postponed or held on the same date but with fewer than 5,000 people.

“We will now deal with the consequences of the official prohibition of our events, coordinate the further steps and inform you as soon as we can,” organizers said in a Tuesday statement.

The Berlin Marathon is known as the world’s fastest thanks to a pancake-flat course and, usually, optimal weather. The last seven times the men’s world record fell, it came in Berlin. Most recently, when Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge lowered it to 2:01:39 in 2018.

Berlin is the first of the major fall marathons — the only one scheduled in September — and the first to be altered due to the coronavirus. The other major fall marathons are in Chicago on Oct. 11 and New York City on Nov. 1.

Major spring marathons in Boston and London, both annually held in April, were already moved to Sept. 14 and Oct. 4, respectively.

On March 1, the Tokyo Marathon (also a World Marathon Major) was restricted to elite runners without the usual mass-participation race.

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MORE: U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials results

Kenenisa Bekele wins Berlin Marathon, just misses world record

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Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele restaked his claim as the greatest runner in history, winning the Berlin Marathon in 2:01:41 to miss the marathon world record by two seconds on Sunday.

Bekele, a 37-year-old who struggled the last three years, came just shy of Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge‘s world record of 2:01:39 set in Berlin last year.

He did so with a blazing finish, coming from 13 seconds behind in the 22nd mile to prevail by 67 seconds over countryman Birhanu Legese, who clocked the fourth-fastest time ever.

“I’m sorry, you know, just few seconds I missed world record,” Bekele said, smiling. “Still I can do better than before. … My preparation was not 100 percent because of injury. I was in a rehabilitation center three months ago. After my preparation was a little bit short for a marathon, especially for a record you need four, five months.”

MORE: 2019 Berlin Marathon Results

Kipchoge, 34, skipped Berlin, the world’s fastest marathon for its ideal weather and pancake-flat course, to try and become the first person to break two hours in a marathon in a special event in Austria in October. Vienna will not be record-eligible, though, with pacers set to come in and out of the event.

When Kipchoge took 78 seconds off the world record last year, he also made his argument as the greatest runner in history. He is on the longest winning streak in modern marathoning — 10 straight victories dating to 2014.

But Kipchoge’s success on the track — a world title and two Olympic 5000m medals — pales in comparison to Bekele. The Ethiopian owns eight combined Olympic and world titles between the 5000m and 10,000m, plus world records at both distances.

And Bekele now owns two of the seven fastest marathons in history.

But this one came from out of nowhere. Bekele’s other top marathon time — 2:03:03 — came in Berlin, but way back in 2016. He failed to finish two marathons in 2017 and another in 2018. His last full race at 26.2 miles was at the April 2018 London Marathon, where he was sixth in 2:08:53.

Ethiopian Ashete Bekere won the Berlin women’s race in 2:20:14. Pre-race favorite Gladys Cherono of Kenya dropped out between the 19th and 22nd miles. American Sara Hall joined a deep group of U.S. Olympic hopefuls by finishing fifth in 2:22:16, taking 4:04 off her personal best.

The fall marathon season continues in Chicago on Oct. 13, featuring Mo Farah and Galen Rupp.

MORE: World championships women’s marathon a race of attrition

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2019 Berlin Marathon results

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2019 Berlin Marathon top finishers from men’s and women’s elite and wheelchair races. Full searchable results are here. ..

Men
1. Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) – 2:01:41
2. Birhanu Legese (ETH) — 2:02:48
3. Sisay Lemma (ETH) — 2:03:36
4. Jonathan Korir (KEN) — 2:06:45
5. Felix Kandie (KEN) — 2:08:07
6. Yohanes Gebregergish (ERI) — 2:08:26
7. Dong Guojian (CHN) — 2:08:28
8. Bethwel Yegon (KEN) — 2:08:35
9. Kenta Murayama (JPN) — 2:08:56
10. Abel Kipchumba (KEN) — 2:09:39

Women
1. Ashete Bekere (ETH) — 2:20:14
2. Mare Dibaba (ETH) — 2:20:21
3. Sally Chepyego (KEN) — 2:21:06
4. Helen Tola (ETH) — 2:21:36
5. Sara Hall (USA) — 2:22:16
6. Melat Kejeta (GER) — 2:23:57
7. Sally Kipyego (USA) — 2:25:10
8. Haftamnesh Tesfay (ETH) — 2:26:50
9. Martina Strahl (SUI) — 2:31:24
10. Nina Lauwaert (BEL) — 2:31:25

Wheelchair Men
1. Marcel Hug (SUI) — 1:28:09
2. David Weir (GBR) — 1:31:45
3. Brent Lakatos (CAN) — 1:31:46
4. Hiroki Nishida (JPN) — 1:31:46
5. Ernst van Dyk (RSA) — 1:31:48

Wheelchair Women
1. Manuela Schar (SUI) — 1:38:07
2. Amanda McGrory (USA) — 1:42:05
3. Madison De Rozario (BRA) — 1:42:09
4. Aline Dos Santos Rocha (BRA) — 1:42:16
5. Jade Jones (GBR) — 1:43:06

MORE: World championships women’s marathon a race of attrition

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