Distance running greats Kenenisa Bekele and Wilson Kipsang are set to go head to head at this year’s edition of the BMW Berlin Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race, on 25 September.
It is the first time that triplet Olympic gold medalist Ethiopian Kenenisa will compete on the roads in Germany while Kenya’s Kipsang has already won Germany’s most prestigious road race, clocking a world record of 2:03:23 in 2013.
Regarded by many as the most successful long distance track runner of all time, Kenenisa will be running his fifth race at this distance when he lines up for this year’s race. The 34-year-old is a triple Olympic champion and five-time world champion on the track. That is by no means the end of his achievements, which also include 11 titles at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships. He is also the world record holder in the 5,000 and 10,000m.
Kenenisa made his marathon debut in 2014 with a victory in Paris in 2:05:04, followed by fourth place in Chicago the same year in 2:05:51. His progress faltered in Dubai in early 2015, dropping out because of injury, but he proved his pedigree once again with 2:06:36 for third place at London in 2016. It’s worth noting that his illustrious predecessor and compatriot, Haile Gebrselassie, went to the start line of seven marathons before his own great talent was fulfilled; it was in Berlin in 2007 when he ran for the first of his two world records at 2:04:26.