Paul Tergat in Berlin (© Victah Sailer)
Paul Tergat intends to continue his career for another one or two more years and intends to win another major marathon with a very fast time.
The great Kenyan runner said this while in Berlin last weekend to promote the BIG 25 Berlin race which he could not compete in due to a back problem after a fall in training. It was in this city, where he became the first marathoner to clock a sub 2:05 time in 2003 (2:04:55).
“This World record in Berlin in 2003 was the climax of my career,” said Tergat, when revisiting the city for the first time again. “It was great to be back in Berlin. I feel a bit like coming back home, because I have a number of good friends living in the city.”
When fellow Kenyan Matthew Koech took Sunday’s 25km race in 1:13:24, Tergat who was holding the finishing line in the stadium congratulated him on his fine performance.
Asked what time he thought would have been possible had he run the 25km, Tergat responded: “A sub 1:14 time would not have been a problem. My form was really very good and I was very motivated for this race since I never ran a 25km event. So it was my aim to establish a strong personal best.” So far his PB at 25km is his Berlin Marathon split time from 2003 (1:14:42).
Tergat stressed that he does not want to give up his goal of a personal record in the 25km: “There are not many races at this distance. But I hope to be able to come back to the BIG 25 next year.”
He may however return to Germany earlier than 9 May 2010. “German races are always very well organised,” said Tergat. So the marathon events in Berlin on 20 September or Frankfurt on 25 October could well be suitable for him.
“I want to win another major marathon with a fast time. I think about a big marathon but it is unlikely that it will be a World Marathon Majors race.”
In March this year the 39-year-old had taken the Lake Biwa Marathon (Japan) with 2:10:22. Asked if the Masters World Record of Andres Espinosa (Mexico/2:08:46) would be a goal once he turns 40 this summer Tergat said: “This time is not a very big challenge for me. But right now I don’t want to say what sort of time might be possible for me.”
Speaking about recent developments in the marathon Tergat said he does not believe in a sub two hour marathon. “I don’t think this will be possible in future because I believe that we are already near to the limit. To run 2:02 will be very, very hard. I think a time slightly above 2:03 is possible, but this also is getting really tough. If you run the first half faster than 61:30 minutes you will kill yourself.”
Next year’s BIG 25 Berlin will take place on 9 May 2010.
Jörg Wenig for the IAAF