We are sorry to say we missed doing a preview for this year’s Berlin Marathon, but personal and work commitments have silenced us recently. Ross’s work at the canoeing world champs in Poland left him in a hole back in Cape Town during his absence, out of which he has been digging himself. On the other side of the pond the academic year has hit Jonathan with full force and coincided with the birth of their second child (another boy). So just trying to find time for a post here or there has suddenly become a real issue!
But the preview for Berlin could have been summed up in short order—No Geb, and three (two of them young) Kenyans looking to show the running world they are not “one-hit” wonders. All three contenders have run sub-2:05, and so on paper it has the potential to be a fast race (and not a time trial as we have seen the past four years). The one with perhaps the most to prove is Sammy Korir, whom many of you might recognize as Paul Tergat’s pacemaker in 2003 who nearly stole the show. He lost to Tergat by one second but became the second runner to break 2:05 for the distance. However before that race and since then he has managed to run “only” in the 2:08-2:10 range.
Of the other two, Patrick Makau ran 2:04:48 earlier this year in Rotterdam, where Geoffrey Mutai finished second to him only seven seconds back.
The race starts at 8:30 AM in Berlin, so by the time many of you read this the results will already be up, but the good news is that no matter where you are in the world, you can catch it live on the web here. It is a refreshing break from many other events that limit viewing to a specific locale.
And speaking of viewing races live on the web, the NYRR is permitting people like us and others to stream the event live on their site. This is excellent forward thinking because it can only increase the exposure and help the sport. The action starts early (9:00 AM Eastern time), but there is a full schedule of races in including age group races for the entire morning followed by the professionals toeing the line at 12:50 (Women) and 1:05 (Men) Eastern time.
So check the video for the 5th Avenue Mile below and the Berlin Marathon for a nice Sunday of racing action. The mile race is filled with solid competitors, some of whom have much to prove (Alan Webb), with others looking to maintain their notoriety (Bernard Lagat) while others trying to build on Beijing success (Nick Willis). Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for live updates and for an alert on when we post our Berlin analysis!