© Copyright – 2015 – Athletics Illustrated

The 2015 Beijing IAAF World Track and Field Championships starts with the men’s marathon on August 21st at 07:35 Beijing time, but 4:35PM PST or 7:35PM EST. Universal Sports will be providing streaming coverage along with broadcast partner NBC. In Canada, CBC will be streaming many events, see their schedule, here.

The top three finishers will be from Kenya and Ethiopia. The pre-race favourite may be Kenya’s Dennis Kimetto, who is the current world record holder with his 2:02:57 performance from the 2014 Berlin Marathon.

Countryman Wilson Kipsang is the 2013-2014 winner of the World Marathon Majors competition, his personal best is the second fastest all-time at 2:03:23, which he also ran at the Berlin Marathon in 2013. Kenya’s third seeded entry is Mark Korir with his best of 2:05:49.

Ethiopia has three athletes entered that have run a 2:04 marathon and one with a 2:05, they are Lelisa Desisa (2:04:45), Berhanu Lemi (2:05:28), Endeshaw Negesse (2:04:52) and Yemane Tsegay (2:04:48). All except Tsegay ran their best times during the Dubai Marathon, where Tsegay ran his in Rotterdam.

It is difficult to tell how the above athletes will react to the heat of Beijing and the course, as it is not laid out in the straight and flat format of Dubai, Rotterdam, Berlin or other very fast courses like Chicago, London or Paris to name a few. Championship marathons are typically run slower, due to the heat. The forecast for Beijing on the 21st and 22nd is with an overnight low of 19C (66.2F) and a daytime high of 31C (87.8F).

Kenyan Sammy Wanjiru broke that pattern with his 2:06:32 in a performance where he literally ran away from the field after half-way and just hung on to the pace for as long as possible. Until this race it was common to see this level of marathon runner take on a championships marathon in the time of 2:10 to 2:12. The 2012 London Olympic Marathon was won in 2:08:01 in hot and humid conditions.

Will Kipsang or Kimetto be able to do the same or will they be content to work with each other until the end of the race, where whoever has a kick left within them wins?

It is likely that they will work together to stay ahead of the Ethiopians and not be concerned with how fast that they run, as their first and second fastest times in history will be unreachable in this race.


Kimetto – Kenya – 2:08:30
Kipsang – Kenya – 2:08:40
Desisa- ETH – 2:10:00