Kenyans Richard Sigei and Lucy Kabuu ran 2013 world-leading times for 25km in the BIG 25 Berlin on Sunday (5), clocking 1:13:34 and and 1:21:37 respectively.
Kabuu had come to the German capital wanting to attack the world record of 1:19:53 her compatriot, friend and training partner Mary Keitany had established in this race three years ago but the warm weather that was sweeping Germany thwarted her ambition.
Nevertheless, her time is still the third fastest ever by a female over the distance and the second fastest time in the history of Germany’s oldest big city road race.
Kenyans dominated the women’s race, taking the first four places. Agnes Mutune was second with 1:23:08, followed home by Esther Chemtai in 1:23:18 with the 2011 Boston Marathon winner Caroline Kilel fourth in 1:26:14.
In the men’s race, a fast race developed after the start in front of the historic Olympic Stadium that was the venue for the 2009 IAAF World Championships before Sigei broke away from the leading group on the slight uphill stretch just after 20 kilometres and then built up a significant lead before taking the plaudits as he crossed the line in the Stadium itself.
Winning the BIG 25 Berlin was the biggest success so far for the 28 year-old. Behind the Kenyan winner, Uganda’s Daniel Chepyegon was second with 1:14:17. Kenya’s Jacob Kendagor, who had won the Berlin Half Marathon a month ago, also went under 1:15 when finishing third in 1:14:47.
“It was relatively warm so the pace of the leading groups dropped in the middle of the race, but we still saw two very fast races and had a very good event,” commented race director Gerhard Janetzky.
There was bad luck for Eritrea’s Ghirmay Ghebreslassie, who had intended to attack the unofficial World junior best of 1:13:17. The 17-year-old was denied a flight from Amsterdam to Berlin because of a visa problem.
Adding all the associated running events together, there were registered 10,901 athletes in the BIG 25 Berlin. The next edition of the BIG 25 Berlin will be on 4 May 2014.
Organisers for the IAAF