Berlin: A record that eclipses almost everything
The Berlin Marathon has lived up to its reputation as one of the fastest races in the world. But unlike in previous years, it was not a man who set a new world record - but a woman. Amanal Petros from Germany also wrote his name into the history books.
Words: Agata Strausa
Photos: Florian Kurrasch
Berlin is known for its fast marathon route
Last year Eliud Kipchoge improved his world record here. But Ethiopia's Tigist Assefa's winning time on Sunday was so fast that you almost couldn't believe she was running on the track the entire time. The 29-year-old crossed the finish line in 2:11:53 and reduced the world record by over two minutes.
Brigid Kosgei's previous record of 2:14:04 was already considered a milestone in running history, but from now on professional runners will have to measure themselves against Assefa's time. Her performance eclipsed many things on marathon day, including the victory of the best marathon runner of all time. It was also a day of records for the double Olympic champion Kipchoge.
Kipchoge is a permanent guest in Berlin
His winning time of 2:02:47 hours did not set a new world record this time. But it was his fifth victory in the marathon in the German capital. On the route you could tell that he was no stranger here either. The applause was as loud for none of the professionals as it was for him. No matter which section of the route the 38-year-old superstar appeared, the audience was beside itself: the cameras flashed and cell phones were held up in the hope of getting a snapshot of the exceptional runner.
German record for Amanal Petros: “First bathtub”
The audience was particularly excited about one German: Amanal Petros. Even before the race, the professional from Marathon Team Berlin had announced that he wanted to attack his own German record of 2:06:27 hours. He put his announcement into practice and even stayed under the 2:05 hour barrier with a time of 2:04:48 hours. “I am very relieved that I achieved this goal,” Petros told más after the run. “I have been preparing for a very, very long time and have had some very challenging training sessions.” When asked how he wanted to celebrate, he replied that he first wanted to take a hot bath at the hotel. But first he had to undergo a doping test.
For Petros' teammates, Deborah and Rabea Schöneborn, things didn't go so well, although “Debbie” set a great time of 2:27:35 hours. She had planned more and wanted to run under 2:26 hours. Domenika Mayer from Regensburg took advantage of the media hype surrounding the Schöneborn marathon twins.
“But I thought, I won’t miss it, I’ll just run until the end!”
Undeterred by the other German runners, she kept the pace high and crossed the finish line in a new German annual best of 2:23:47 hours. With the new personal best, the 32-year-old also undercut the Olympic standard for Paris 2024. She had to overcome several critical situations in the race.
“I had a really dark moment at kilometer 21,” she later tells más. “Then it hit me and I didn’t know if I could make it through.” At kilometer 37, she felt like she couldn't push anymore because her foot hurt so much, Mayer said. “But I thought, I won’t miss it, I’ll just run until the end!” When she saw the Brandenburg Gate on the home straight, she just wanted to give it her all for a time under 2:24 hours. The support from her pacemakers was also “first class,” she said happily at the finish.
According to the organizers, a total of 47,912 runners took part in the Berlin Marathon. Next year the marathon will celebrate its 50th anniversary. If one of our readers has caught the marathon fever, registration for it begins at the end of September.
The top three overall rankings
🥇 Eliud Kipchoge 🇰🇪 - 02:02:42
🥈 Vincent Kipkemoi 🇰🇪 - 02:03:13
🥉 Tadese Takele 🇪🇹 - 02:03:24
🥇 Tigist Assefa 🇪🇹 - 02:11:53 (WR)
🥈 Sheila Chepkiruiken 🇰🇪 - 02:17:49
🥉 Magdalena Shauri 🇹🇿 - 02:18:41
The best Germans
🥇🇩🇪 Amanal Petros - 02:04:58 (NR, PB)
🥈🇩🇪 Samuel Fitwi - 02:08:28 (PB)
🥉🇩🇪 Hendrik Pfeiffer - 02:08:48 (PB)
🥇🇩🇪 Domenika Mayer - 02:23:47 (PB)
🥈🇩🇪 Deborah Schöneborn - 02:27:35
🥉🇩🇪 Laura Hottenrott - 02:29:38