Friday, September 24, 2010

3 Kenyans seek marathon record in Berlin


Three Kenyans will be chasing a world record on Sunday when they take to the flat streets of the German capital in the Berlin Marathon.
Ethiopian great Haile Gebrselassie has won in Berlin the past four years, and set the world record of 2 hours, 3 minutes, 59 seconds in 2008. But he won't be among the runners this year, deciding instead to run the New York City Marathon in November.

For Kenya's Patrick Makau and Geoffrey Mutai, who ran this year's fastest and second-fastest marathons, respectively, Gebrselassie's absence is an advantage. Along with 21-year-old Kenyan teammate Eliud Kiptanui, who set a course record at the Prague Marathon in May, they are Berlin's top contenders.

"Everyone in our homeland would be happy if we could win back a record for Kenya," Mutai said Friday. "It all depends on how we work together."

But with cool, wet weather forecast for Sunday, he conceded that the conditions and how the race unfolds could prevent a record.

"It is important to be in a strong group after 30 kilometers," said Makau, who ran the Rotterdam Marathon in 2:04:48 the year's best time.