Just before leaving his native Kenya for the Sept. 25 Berlin Marathon, former marathon world-record holder Wilson Kipsang told the press that he’s ready to reclaim the record.
“My training has been good and I have finalized the hard training. I’m ready to face the other competitors and my focus will be to run my personal best and even break the world record,” Kipsang told Kenya’s Daily Nation Sport.
Kipsang, 34, won the 2013 Berlin Marathon in 2:03:23, besting countryman Patrick Makau’s world record of 2:03:38, which was also set in Berlin. Next to claim the title was Denis Kimetto of Kenya who became the first man to run a sub-2:03 marathon with an eye popping 2:02:57. (That’s 4:41 mile pace, by the way.)
Kipsang, the Olympic bronze medalist in the marathon in 2012, has run under 2:05:00 six times, but amazingly, he does not even own the best PR in the Berlin field. Emmanuel Mutai (from, you guessed it, Kenya) clocked 2:03:13 when he took second behind Kimetto’s world-record run in Berlin in 2014.
Berlin has had a stranglehold on the men’s marathon world record for the past 13 years. It’s been lowered six times in Berlin—and nowhere else—since Paul Tergat ran a then-record 2:04:55 there in 2003. The women’s marathon world record was twice broken in Berlin (in 1999 and 2001).