Bekele is 39 years old. He hasn’t run a marathon in two years. He hasn’t run any race, period, in 18 months. He has racked up so many DNF’s and DNS’s over the last seven years that it is hard to keep track.He is also the greatest distance runner of all time. And Berlin is the site of some of his greatest triumphs. He won the 5k/10k double there at the 2009 Worlds. In 2016, snubbed by the Ethiopian Olympic selectors, he showed up to the Berlin Marathon and won in 2:03:03, missing the world record by six seconds. Three years later, when many believed his career was over, he came even closer, his 2:01:41 winning time just two seconds off Eliud Kipchoge‘s world record.
We watch sports because they’re unpredictable, and because they present an opportunity to witness greatness. And that’s why I will wake up at 4 a.m. on Sunday to watch Bekele live in Berlin (Editor’s note: The race starts at 3:15 am ET but Jonathan is ok with missing the first 45 minutes). His longtime agent Jos Hermens sums it up best.
What Time Is The Race? Where To Watch?
2021 Berlin Marathon will be at 2:50 AM – 10:45 AM onSunday, September 26All times are in Eastern Time.
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His winning time is the second fastest-ever on the men’s marathon all-time list behind the 2:01:39 world record by Eliud Kipchoge, which was set in 2018, and Bekele could be targeting something special again this weekend.
“I have prepared well, but the pandemic hasn’t made it easy in the last two years,” said Bekele at his press
With Kenenisa Bekele, you never know what’s coming. Gone are the days when the Ethiopian ran the distance-running world like a dictator; the 39-year-old’s powers weakened by time, injuries, and an occasional lack of dedication to a craft he once perfected like no other.
Marathon world record-holder Eliud Kipchoge may be defined by his diligence and consistency, but in many ways, Bekele is the opposite. His performances can be utterly astounding or unexplainably poor. Depending on the time of year, he can be ruthlessly driven or hopelessly distracted. He runs with a heart of a warrior, the race craft of a champion, but has developed a habit of quitting if things aren’t going his way.
Bekele is flawed and sometimes flawless, human yet occasionally superhuman. He’s likely the best there’s ever been.
BMW Berlin Marathon Elite fields
Hiwot Gebrekidan (ETH) 2:19:35
Shure Demise (ETH) 2:20:59
Helen Tola (ETH) 2:21:01
Ruth Chebitok (KEN) 2:23:29
Bethelhem Moges (ETH) 2:23:38
Fancy Chemutai (KEN) 2:24:27
Rabea Schöneborn (GER) 2:27:03
Iwona Bernardelli (POL) 2:27:47
Martina Strähl (SUI) 2:28:07
Izabela Paszkiewicz (POL) 2:28:12
Grace Momanyi (KEN) 2.28:18
Hanna Lindholm (SWE) 2:28:59
Edith Chelimo (KEN) 2:29:03
Beatie Deutsch (ISR) 2:31:39
Martha Akeno (KEN) 2:33:25
Nora Szabo (HUN) 2:35:00
Gotytom Gebreslase (ETH) debut
Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) 2:01:41
Guye Adola (ETH) 2:03:36
Philemon Kacheran (KEN) 2:06:05
Festus Talam (KEN) 2:06:13
Tadu Abate (ETH) 2:06:13
Olika Adugna (ETH) 2:06:15
Tesfaye Lencho (ETH) 2:06:18
Hidekazu Hijikata (JPN) 2:06:26
Michael Njenga (KEN) 2:06:43
Okubay Tsegay (ERI) 2:06:46
Josphat Boit (KEN) 2:07:20
Kazuki Muramoto (JPN) 2:07:36
Taku Fujimoto (JPN) 2:07:57
Bethwel Yegon (KEN) 2:08:35
Weldu Gebretsadik (NOR) 2:09:14
Yimer Getahun (ISR) 2:09:27
Melkam Jamber (ISR) 2:09:51
Kamil Karbowiak (POL) 2:10:35
Hosea Kipkemboi (KEN) 2:10:40
Getaye Gelaw (ETH) 2:11:03
Blazey Brzezinski (POL) 2:11:27
Philipp Pflieger (GER) 2:12:15
Ömer Alkanoglu (TUR) 2:12:15
Adrian Lehmann (SUI) 2:12:34
Christian Vasconez (ECU) 2:12:50
Benard Kimeli (KEN) debut
Abraham Kipyatich (KEN) debut
William Wanjiku (KEN) debut