Top runners targeting world record in Berlin Marathon
BERLIN (AP) With favorable weather conditions forecast for the Berlin Marathon on Sunday, there will be a handful of runners targeting another world record on the fast course.
Ten world records have been set on Berlin's flat course - more than any other marathon in the world - and four runners on this year's start list have already clocked times under 2 hours, 5 minutes - Kenyan trio Eliud Kipchoge, Emmanuel Mutai and Geoffrey Mutai, as well as Ethiopia's Feyisa Lilesa.
Emmanuel Mutai ran 2:03:13 here last year, when he was beaten by Dennis Kimetto's 2:02:57 - the current world record. Kipchoge clocked 2:04:05 in 2013 only to be beaten by compatriot Wilson Kipsang, who set a then-record or 2:03:23.
''If everything comes together in Berlin, something very special can happen,'' Kipchoge said. ''I'm convinced that my training partner Emmanuel Mutai and I can push on together toward a new world record.''
Kipchoge is running his sixth Berlin marathon and said he's in ''good condition.''
Emmanuel Mutai was fairly modest when asked about his chances.
''I accept the result whatever happens on Sunday,'' he said. ''The most important thing is the way you run the race and the preparation.''
Geoffrey Mutai - no relation to Emmanuel - ran the fastest marathon in history in 2:03:02 in Boston in 2011, though it didn't count as a world record because the course is considered too straight and downhill. He went on to win the New York Marathon that year and won in Berlin in 2012.
The women's race could become a duel between two-time winner Aberu Kebede of Ethiopia and Gladys Cherono of Kenya.
''If I could win for a third time, it would be a crowning moment in my career - and also a record,'' said Kebede, who won in 2010 and 2012.
Cherono, the half marathon world champion, will be running only her second marathon, having made an impressive debut with 2:20:03 for second place in Dubai in January.
''The other runners have more experience of the marathon but I've been learning,'' Cherono said.
More than 41,000 runners from 131 countries are registered to start Sunday morning.