Mary Keitany wins the IAAF/EDF Energy World Half Marathon Championships in Birmingham (Getty Images) © Copyright
The 28-year-old Kenyan dominated the Half Marathon distance in 2009, producing the year's three fastest performances, capped by her 1:06:36 to take the World title in Birmingham in October. Keitany has clocked 1:07:00 or faster on four occasions over a record standard course, producing four of the nine fastest times ever. While her outing in Berlin will be her first over the 25Km distance, the current mark of 1:22:13 set by Japan's Mizuki Noguchi in 2005 seems well within her reach.
Keitany has already gotten off to a good start in 2010, first with a victory at the Abu Dhabi Half Marathon where she clocked 1:07:14, and a runner-up finish at the 'World's Best 10K' in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in February where she clocked 31:09. To fully prepare, Keitany opted to skip last month's Lisbon Half Marathon.
The race begins in front of Berlin's Olympic Stadium, host venue of last year's IAAF World Championships in Athletics. The course then leads the runners through the city centre of the German capital, passing the Brandenburg Gate, Unter den Linden, Friedrichstrasse, Gendarmenmarkt, Potsdamer Platz, the Memorial Church at Kurfürstendamm and the TV tower near the Olympic Stadium, before ending on the famous blue track inside the stadium.
Organisers for the IAAF