BMW Berlin Marathon 2023

Assefa Smashes World Record

Fifth win for Kipchoge is eclipsed by the women’s world record in Berlin...

We dropped a broad hint in our preview of the 49th BMW Berlin Marathon held on Sunday 24 September 2023. Clairvoyant news reporter Alan Newman predicted a women’s world record and 2:11:53 after she had started, Ethiopia’s defending Berlin champion Tigst Assefa had sensationally delivered – by more than two minutes – wearing the latest adidas Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1 racing shoes, on sale now at a bargain £400!

Assefa took more than two minutes off the women’s world record of 2:14:04, which had been set by Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei at the 2019 Chicago Marathon. The searing pace, in perfect conditions, was unprecedented as more than a dozen women passed 15K in 47:26, well inside world record pace.

By the time she had reached 17K, Assefa had dropped fellow Ethiopian Workenesh Edesa, the last of her opponents, and just had a few male pacemakers for company. At this point, she began to accelerate – off world record pace – to reach halfway in 1:06:20, on track to smash the record by more than a minute.

Yet still, she poured on the pace to run a negative split of 1:05:33 for the second half to achieve that historic 2:11:53 mark. Sheila Chepkirui (Kenya, 2:17:49) finished strongly for second as Tanzania’s Magdalena Shauri made a massive breakthrough for a national record 2:18:41 in third. A record eight women finished inside 2:20 as Charlotte Purdue (Aldershot, Farnham and District, 2:22:17) was ninth in a huge PB to move to second on the UK all-time rankings.

An otherwise superb men’s race was eclipsed by the women. Eliud Kipchoge eventually won by 31 seconds in 2:02:42, merely the fifth-fastest time of his seemingly endless career and a record fifth victory in Berlin, where he set his world record of 2:01:09 last year.

The two-time Olympic champion had company for most of the race in the form of Ethiopia's Derseh Kindie and the pair were already 30 seconds clear at 10K reached in 28:27, operating at exactly two-hour marathon pace!

Kipchoge and Kindie continued to run together at world record schedule through halfway in 1:00:22, but the pace started to drop soon after. Kipchoge sensed his opportunity to finish off his last remaining opponent and he powered clear as Kindie withdrew shortly after 30K.

Kipchoge went on to win in 2:02:42 while a fast-finishing Vincent Kipkemoi (Kenya, 2:03:13) and Ethiopia's Tadese Takele (2:03:24) completed the rostrum. A record nine men finished inside 2:05 and 15 were inside 2:06, making it the deepest men's marathon in history.

Swiss athlete Tadesse Abraham set a national record and world M40 masters record (2:05:10) and Weynay Ghebresilasie (Shettleston Harriers, 2:09:50 PB) was the best of the British men.

Previous Berlin reports and link to results at runABC race listing here.

Photo courtesy BMW Berlin Marathon on Facebook

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