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An Ethiopian won the Berlin Marathon, it just wasn’t the Ethiopian we expected. Guye Adola clocked a 2:05:45 in warm conditions for the win, while the world record attempt by Kenenisa Bekele fell short. Kenya’s Bethwel Yegon took second.

Gotytom Gebreslase won the women’s race.

Bekele, who the race in 2016 and 2019 including clocking a 2:01:01, was attempting to break Eliud Kipchoge’s world record of 2:01:39 but ended up finished 1:02 behind Adola.

Kenenisa Bekele

The lead pack went out fast with a first 5K split of 14:22, which put them on 2:01:12 pace and ket the diabolical effort up through halfway with a half-marathon split of 60:48.

The leaders fell off the pace through 25K and were 22 seconds behind the world record time at that point. When a fade happens at 32K the athletes have typically come undone, when it happens at 25K, there is no coming back.

Temperatures rose quickly, although not hot, certainly warm for a marathon effort 16°C (60°F) — 21°C (69°F).

“I didn’t think I would win,” Adola said post-race. Four years ago I was number two and I thought I could win this race one day. Today, I did it.”

The women’s race was hardly shown by the broadcasters. Who knew if a world record attempt was in the making?

Kenyan Fancy Chemutai, Ethiopians Hiwott Gebrekidan, Helen Tola, and Gebreslase passed halfway in the time of 69:19. as idHelen Tola and Kenya’s Fancy Chemutai, the quartet running among a horde of sub-elite men. The women were racing each, while the men were racing the clock, which could have made for interesting viewing.

Gebrekidan built a 13-second lead that grew to 30 seconds when she hit 39K and into 40K by 2:12:34. The women slowed too and the final split was a good minute off their otherwise consistent pacing.

Top-10 men

1. Adola, Guye (ETH) – 2:05:45
2. Yegon, Bethwel (KEN) – 2:06:14
3. Bekele, Kenenisa (ETH) – 2:06:47
4. Abate, Tadu (ETH) – 2:08:24
5. Muteti, Cosmas (KEN) – 2:08:45
6. Kacheran, Philemon (KEN) – 2:09:29
7. Tsegay, Okbay (ERI) – 2:10:38
8. Kimeli, Bernard (KEN) – 2:10:50
9. Hijikata, Hidekazu (JPN) – 2:11:47
10. Kipkemboi, Hosea (KEN) – 2:12:25

Top-10 women

1. Gebreslase, Gotytom (ETH) – 2:20:09
2. Gebrekidan, Hiwot (ETH) – 2:21:23
3. Tola, Helen (ETH) – 2:23:05
4. Chelimo, Edith (KEN) – 2:24:33
5. Demise, Shure (ETH) – 2:24:43
6. Chemutai, Fancy (KEN) – 2:24:58
7. Paszkiewicz, Izabela (POL) – 2:27:41
8. Chebitok, Ruth (KEN) – 2:28:18
9. Schöneborn, Rabea (GER) – 2:28:49
10. Strähl, Martina (SUI) – 2:30:37

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