We are just days away from the 2023 Berlin Marathon, scheduled to kick off on Sunday, September 24, 2023, in the capital city of Germany.
As one of the six Abbott World Marathon Majors (alongside the New York City Marathon, Boston Marathon, Chicago Marathon, London Marathon, and Tokyo Marathon), the Berlin Marathon always garners tremendous crowd support, both directly on the course and from viewers around the world watching the race unfold at home.
Of the major marathons and big cities marathons around the world, the Berlin Marathon tends to be particularly exciting as the course is notoriously flat and is considered one of the fastest marathon courses in the world.
Thus, the Berlin Marathon elite field of men and women is always impressive and the Berlin Marathon winning time tends to be the fastest marathon time posted each year.
In fact, the last eight marathon world records for men have been set on the Berlin Marathon course, including the existing marathon world record for men.
Although the 2023 Berlin Marathon has quite a stacked field of elite runners, most eyes are glued on Eliud Kipchoge, the current marathon world record holder and arguably the fastest marathon runner in history.
Kipchoge has already amassed four wins on the Berlin Marathon course, and if he successfully takes first place at the 2023 Berlin Marathon on Sunday, Eliud Kipchoge will be the first five-time Berlin Marathon champion. Talk about impressive!
In two of these four Berlin Marathon victories, Kipchoge set the then marathon world record time for men, one of which still stands today.
In 2018, the Kenyan marathoner ran a blazing 2:01:39 at the Berlin Marathon, shattering the then men’s marathon world record by an astonishing one minute and 18 seconds.
Though everyone imagined that this world record marathon time would stand for years, Kipchoge broke his own marathon world record again at the 2022 Berlin Marathon, running a full 30 seconds faster, to set the current marathon world record time for men of 2:01:09.
He was 37 years old at the time that he set the current men’s world record marathon time.
As such, Eliud Kipchoge has carved a name for himself that has become almost synonymous with the Berlin Marathon, first appearing at the iconic race exactly 10 years ago in 2013 where he placed second, just one second behind the 2013 Berlin Marathon champion, Wilson Kipsang, who ended up setting the marathon world record at the time in that performance.
Now, at age 38, perhaps the greatest marathon runner of all time, and certainly one of the top contenders to break the tape at the 2023 Berlin Marathon, Eliud Kipchoge notes that he is hungry for another victory and another world record at Sunday’s 26.2-mile race through the streets of the capital city of Germany.
Kipchoge has been interviewed numerous times about the Berlin Marathon, including his anticipated performance at the 2023 Berlin Marathon, citing that he loves the crowd support at the race.
In anticipation of Sunday’s Berlin Marathon race, Kipchoge took to his Instagram account earlier his week and wrote:
It’s good to be back in Berlin, it always feels like coming home. Only a few more days until the @berlinmarathon, I can’t wait.”
Aside from the two special sub-two-hour marathon attempts, Eliud Kipchoge has won an outstanding 15 of his 18 career marathons, which equates to a wholly impressive and likely unparalleled (in terms of elite men marathon runners) win rate of 83%!
What is particularly notable about Kipchoge‘s dominance in all of his marathon performances today is the fact that he takes on such competitive races against formidable marathoners in their own right.
One of the very few defeats at the 26.2-mile distance came just this past April at the 2023 Boston Marathon, at his first stab at the notoriously difficult and oldest annual marathon in the world.
Although Kipchoge noted in his pre-race interviews that his goal was to win Boston (and eventually win all six Abbott World Marathon Majors), Kipchoge ended up finishing in a disappointing sixth place.
Post-race analysis and commentary about Eliud Kipchoge’s 2023 Boston Marathon race proposed various reasons for Kipchoge’s sub-par performance at the Boston Marathon.
These theories ranged from the fact that Eliud Kipchoge tends to be a stronger runner on flat and fast marathon courses based on his marathon performances to date, potential flaws in his Boston Marathon training in that he neglected to include enough downhill preparation, poor pacing, as well as the fact that Kipchoge noted that he experienced a leg cramp around the 30K mark during the Boston Marathon race.
Some people also are beginning to wonder if the seemingly unstoppable Eliud Kipchoge is finally slowing down due to his age, as he approaches his 39th birthday this coming November.
However, everyone is entitled to an offer race every now and again and to have only three marathon performances not result in a victory, one of which was his first marathon, doesn’t seem to be enough of a sign that we should write of Kipchoge as a strong, if not the strongest, contender for the title at the 2023 Berlin Marathon.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that some runners and fans of Kipchoge may wonder why he is again toeing the line now for his sixth Berlin Marathon when the Kenyan superstar marathoner has made it known that his goal is to win all six World Marathon Majors (so why isn’t he running the New York City Marathon, for example?).
Eliud Kipchoge has answered that question himself, stating that he believes that the Berlin Marathon is the best marathon to rehearse or prepare for the upcoming 2024 Olympic Marathon in Paris, France, given the similarities between the marathon courses and competitive fields.
Because taking the gold medal at the 2024 Olympic Marathon is more of a pressing and important goal for Eliud Kipchoge, the 38-year-old marathon world record holder is prioritizing his preparation for the 2024 Olympics Marathon over becoming a six-star World Marathon Majors champion.
Makes sense to us!
Of course, we anticipate that Kipchoge will have a stellar performance at the 2023 Berlin Marathon.
We hope that Eliud Kipchoge not only breaks the tape at the finish line for a record-setting fifth time at his sixth appearance at the Berlin Marathon, but also breaks his own marathon PR (the current marathon world record) and gains all of the confidence and preparation he needs to set himself up for the top podium spot at the 2024 Olympics men’s marathon in Paris.
You can watch the 2023 Berlin Marathon this coming Sunday, September 24, 2023, live on Olympics.com (depending on where you live in the world). Or, you can find local TV coverage for the Berlin Marathon here.
Follow Kipchoge in his pursuit of marathon records on his Instagram here.