After only 56:49 minutes, Bart Swings of Belgium crossed the finish line at the 42nd BMW BERLIN-MARATHON Inline Skating, thus setting a fantastic new course record. It also meant his third victory in a row in Berlin. In the women’s race, Sandrine Tas, also from Belgium, was the first one to cross the finish line. With a total of 5,585 registered participants, the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON once again maintained its position as the largest inline marathon in the world.
“It was a really awesome race. I knew that I would have to pay close attention to Gary and Francesco. Both of them made it very difficult for me and kept on attacking,” said Bart Swings as he described his race after crossing the finish. After 30 kilometres, the Belgian skater waged an attempt and was able to break away from Gary Hekmann (NED) and Francesco José Peula (ESP). Last year Swings already broke the course record with his time of 58:10 minutes, and this year he was well under his best time. Gary Hekmann crossed the finish second (1:01:03 h), with Francesco José Peula right behind in third (1:01:03 h).
“It was clear to me that the race was going to be a fast one. But when I realized after 10 kilometres that we were underway at the unbelievable speed of 65 km/h, I was floored,” Gary Hekmann described his experience. “I am very happy with third place. After Bart pulled away, Gary and I did a good job supporting one another,” stated third-placed Francesco José Peula.
Sandrine Tas stops Manon Kamminga’s victory series
The women’s race was only decided at the finish line. In an exciting sprint, Sandrine Tas (BEL/1:09:20 h) was able to seek out a victory ahead of Manon Kamminga (NED/1:09:20 h), thus ending Kamminga’s victory series with wins in 2013 and 2014. In third place, Katharina Rumpus of Germany crossed the finish in 1:09:48 h.
“This was my first race in Berlin, so I was pretty nervous before the start. I had a lot of respect for race, which I had heard so much about, and for Manon und Katharina. But I knew that I was well prepared ,” stated the 20-year-old Sandrine Tas. “For me, the race was much harder than the last two years, even though I felt really good,” said Manon Kamminga, who made several unsuccessful breakaway attempts from Sandrine Tas.
For the first time, the majority of the elite skaters was underway with three 125mm wheels. “We at the Powerslide/Matter racing team really wanted to set a new record on the big wheels. For me, the large wheels are an advantage, as they reduce the weight. In the future, no one will be able to win without the 125mm wheels,” according to Bart Swings.
Sabine Berg and Felix Rijhnen are the overall champions in the GERMAN INLINE CUP
The GERMAN INLINE CUP is considered to be the most important European inline skating series with a total of five stations – with the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON serving as the final. The overall champions in the “speed” category were Sabine Berg and Felix Rijhnen. In the “fitness” category, the champions were Ronald Krzywinski and Hana Duspivova.
The marathon day got off to a sporty start mid-day with the finals of the SCC-Skating KidsCup. With 174 kids, not only were there a record number of participants, but they also presented a great race in front of the Brandenburg Gate.
1. Bart Swings (BEL/Powerslide/Matter racing) 56:49 h
2. Gary Hekmann (NED/Van Werven) 1:01:03 h
3. Francesco José Peula (ESP/Marianistas de Vitoria) 1:01:03 h
1. Sandrine Tas (BEL/XL Tulips Powerslide) 1:09:20 h
2. Manon Kamminga (NED/Powerslide/Matter racing) 1:09:20 h
3. Katharina Rumpus (GER/Powerslide/Matter racing) 1:09:48 h