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Amanal Petros: “Ich würde mit Kipchoge mitlaufen”
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Amanal Petros: “I would run with Kipchoge”

Amanal Petros has implemented his announcement of breaking his personal best at the Berlin Marathon. After 2:04:58 hours he crossed the finish line: new PB, new German record. We spoke to the 28-year-old on the day before the big race - and immediately after his sensational run.

Words: Agata Strausa
Photos: Florian Kurrasch

No sign of tension

When we meet Amanal for the first time in Berlin at the Hotel Continental near the Tiergarten, there are still over 24 hours until the start of the marathon. About a 15-minute walk away, everything is being set up for the big day on the Straße des 17. Juni, between the Victory Column and the Brandenburg Gate. You don't notice much of this on the park side of the hotel. Amanal looks very relaxed as he appears in his tracksuit, including his race outfit for the photo shoot. His supplier's new super shoes, the Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1, hang over his shoulders.

más. independent: How are you feeling the day before the race?

Amanal Petros: I feel very good, I'm coming from a height where you now feel like you can breathe much better. The training in the last few weeks has also gone very well and after the first training sessions with the Evo 1 I had an even better feeling.

You've been training in Kenya for the last few weeks, right?

Exactly, that went really well, I've been training a little less in the last two weeks. You have to take it out before a marathon. If you don't train as brutally as usual every day, you automatically feel better!

Many professionals travel to St. Moritz, Switzerland, to train in the summer. You prefer to train in Kenya. Why?

The structures in Kenya are completely different and you can concentrate better. In St. Moritz you have to cook yourself, do your own shopping, do your own washing up... clean up something. You lose at least three or three and a half hours a day. This is very important for a professional athlete. In Kenya you don't have to worry about training partners, you don't have to call anyone to organize anything: just go up and train.

Do you have a routine before the start of the marathon?

I always eat pancakes with honey in the morning. My coffee shouldn't be missing either. I always listen to my Spotify playlist of music and I always have my massage roller with me. I am also a devout Christian and I also take the Bible that my mom gave me with me.

What pace do you want to run at the half marathon mark in the Berlin Marathon?

62 minutes!

Strong, that would be a final time of under 2:05 hours, well below your previous German record, which is 2:06.27. Have you already looked at the route in Berlin, there is a huge cheer zone at kilometer 37…

I've never run in Berlin, I don't know the corner. But let's see, I'll take everything with me, but I also take the run very seriously! Maybe I can enjoy cheering in the last 400 meters.

In a marathon, things get really tough for every runner at some point. How do you fight your way through this?

I try to remember the tough training sessions in Kenya. There will also be very good competition in Berlin, so I will try not to let the others go. I just want to take the opportunity and run at the front.

Fancy overtaking Eliud Kipchoge?

I think if it were an international competition I would go. Just like I did in Tokyo at the Olympic Games. I ran with him at the front until kilometer 30. But now it's about time, I have to run for a time and improve it.

You've already qualified for the Olympics in Paris, so is there less pressure when running?

Right, I have no pressure, just have fun and run fast.

Between the finish line and the bathtub

After the Berlin Marathon we meet Amanal Petros on the way to the athletes' bus. He just ran the German record in a sensational 2:04:58 hours and was celebrated for it on the streets of Berlin and in front of the audience when he crossed the finish line. The bus that is supposed to take the elite runners to the hotel is very quiet, even though the finish area is very close. Behind the barriers things have become quiet again around the top athletes. Petros has to go to doping control, otherwise his record cannot be officially declared valid.

más: Congratulations, you've done it: new German record! What's on your mind right now?

Amanal Petros: First of all, thank you very much. I am very, very relieved that I achieved this goal. Before that, I trained for a very long time and prepared for a very long time, and yes, that day has come today and I did it.

Did you ever have any doubts along the way that it would really work?

I wasn't sure if it would work. Because I know full well that something can always happen in a marathon. That's just a marathon. But I trained very well at 2,400 meters in Kenya. I had already overcome some very, very strong challenges in training. So I was pretty sure that I could definitely run the best time in Berlin.

And how is it celebrated today?

I need to get to the hotel first, so I'll go into the bathtub with warm water. And then let's see what else happens!

Thank you for the talk!

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