Also at the start: Jan Fitschen and Irina Mikitenko
There will be a showdown between the two fastest marathon runners in the world on September 29 in Berlin. Patrick Makau (Kenya), who set the current marathon world record in Berlin in 2011 (2:03:38 h), will face Wilson Kipsang (Kenya) at the BMW BERLIN MARATHON. Kipsang just missed breaking Makau's record (by only four seconds) a few weeks later in Frankfurt. Since his winning time at the BMW Frankfurt Marathon, Kipsang has remained behind Makau in second place in the list of "all-time best in the world” performances, which only includes times for races satisfying certain qualifying criteria.* About one year later, Kipsang won the bronze medal at the Olympic Games in London.
Germany's top two marathon greats also plan to compete in the capital: Irina Mikitenko (Eintracht Frankfurt) and Jan Fitschen (TV Wattenscheid). Both achieved their personal best times on the fast Berlin course: Mikitenko in 2008, when she ran a new German record (2:19:19), and Fitschen in 2012, with his personal best (2:13:10). Irina Mikitenko hopes to break the Masters World Record (ages 40 and over), which currently lies at 2:25:43, while Jan Fitschen hopes to beat his record on the course.
The field of elite international runners also is highlighted by two great runners, Florence Kiplagat (Kenya) and Desiree Davila (USA). The 26-year-old woman from Kenya won the BMW BERLIN MARATHON in 2011 with a world-class time of 2:19:44. Her greatest successes include victories at the Cross Country World Championships in 2009 and at the Half Marathon World Championships in 2010. American Desiree Davila (29) has been running marathons since 2007. In 2011, she placed second at the Boston Marathon (2:22:38). She is already familiar with Berlin, as she placed tenth in the Marathon World Championships in Berlin in 2009.
The BMW BERLIN MARATHON is part of the World Marathon Majors, the collaboration of the most important marathon races in the world (Boston, Chicago, London, New York, Tokyo, Berlin). The demand for starting spots for the 40th anniversary race was so great that the race was sold out after only 3.5 hours.
*In 2011, Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya finished the Boston Marathon in a time of 2:03:02. However, as the maximum incline of the Boston course is too great (over 1 m per km) and the start and finish are too far apart, the course does not meet the requirements to be included in the record lists for the world best times.