Dennis Kimetto stormed to a World record* at the BIG 25 Berlin today, clocking 1:11:18 at this traditional 25-kilometre road race in the German capital.
The 28-year-old Kenyan broke the previous mark of 1:11:50 set by fellow-Kenyan Sammy Kosgei at this same event two years ago.
Today's race marked only the third time Kimetto competed in a race outside Kenya. On Sunday he kept his clean sheet and additionally collected his first World record*. After taking the half marathons in Ras Al Khaimah and Berlin today's triumph was the biggest success of his career so far as he knocked 32 second from the previous standard.
This was the seventh World record in the history of the event, which started in 1981 and always had its finish inside Berlin's Olympic Stadium.
A very fast men’s race developed from the start. A leading group of six passed the 5km mark in 14:00, then reached the 10km point after 28:21 and the 15km point in 42:46. They were well inside the World record at these points and kept the pace high.
After 17km Ethiopians Aschalew Neguse Meketa and Belay Asefa Bedada were dropped and it became an all Kenyan affair at the front. Soon after that at the start of a slight uphill stretch Edwin Kiptoo lost contact as well. Kimetto and Wilfred Kigen ran together with Jacob Kendagor, who was entered as a pacemaker but then decided to continue to the finish. While he could not match Kimetto and Kigen's pace in the final stages he still ran a strong 1:11:59 for third place.
It was between kilometres 23 and 24 when Kimetto broke away from Kigen and then stormed into the Olympic Stadium to become a World record holder. Kigen clocked 1:11:29 for second, also faster than the previous World record. Edwin Kiptoo (Kenya) took fourth with 1:12:39, followed by Meketa (1:14:40), Moses Too (1:14:57) and Edwin Kimaiyo (both Kenya/1:15:13).
"It had been our aim to break the record," Kimetto, said. "We knew throughout the race that we were on time to do it." Kimetto said he hopes to be selected for the Kenyan team for the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in October. "Next year I want to run my Marathon debut. And the long term goal in the Marathon will be the World record."
Kenyan Caroline Chepkwony was the women’s winner, clocking a world-class time as well with 1:22:56.
In contrast to the men’s race the women’s leading group broke up soon after the 5km mark. From then on Chepkwony built a big lead. Guided by a pacemaker she passed the 10km mark in a very fast 32:11. She could not match this pace on the second half, but she was very happy with her time, the third fastest winning time in the history of the event. The course record and World record of Mary Keitany (Kenya/1:19:53) were out of reach.
"This is a great course and it is very fast. I was around one minute faster than I had planned," said the 27-year-old, who was well ahead of Taemo Shumye Woldegebriel (Ethiopia/1:25:21) and France’s Christelle Daunay (1:25:27).
Consolater Yadaa (Kenya) was fourth with 1:26:13 while Gulume Tollesa Chala (Ethiopia) took fifth in 1:27:05.
Combined all the running events of the day, a total of 10,478 athletes competed in Germany’s oldest city road race.