© Copyright – 2014 – Athletics Illustrated

Is Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge ready to break the world record in the marathon on Sunday, October 12th at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon? The race is complemented with several high-value competitors to push the pace in that direction, which will be a requirement for success. They include Ethiopian great, Kenenisa Bekele who owns a marathon best of 2:05:03 and will be seeking the world record in Chicago, which remains at 2:03.23 and is owned by Kenyan Wilson Kipsang from his 2013 Berlin Marathon effort.

Since 2008 seven of the top-10 all-time results have been run on the Berlin course. There are two performances that are recorded as faster than the official record, which were run at the B.A.A. Boston Marathon during the 2011 running, by Kenyans Geoffrey Mutai with his 2:03:02 and Moses Mosop who ran to the time of 2:03:06. The Boston course is deemed as aided, as it is a point-to-point route that also contains a net drop of more than one metre, per kilometre, so the two fastest times are not official records, according to the IAAF.

In the Berlin Marathon a few Kenyans and one Ethiopian plan to also achieve the world record, so there is the possibility of multiple athletes running under the current, official world record between Sunday, September 28th and Chicago’s date of Sunday, October 12th.

Dennis Kimetto leads the Berlin elite group with his second place finish from the 2013 running of the Marathon and his personal best of 2:03:45. While countryman Emmanuel Mutai of Kenya is the winner of the 2011 Virgin Money London Marathon. He is also the IAAF World Marathon Majors champion from that same year. Mutai owns a best of 2:03:52 from 2013. Tsegaye Kebede if Ethiopia owns a best from two years ago of 2:04:38.

As for Chicago, there is Tadese Tola who is from Ethiopia, he brings with him a personal best time of 2:04:49. There is also Kenyan Bernard Koech who has run only four seconds slower than Tola, as well as Kenyan Sammy Kitwara who has run as fast as 2:05.16. They represent the very best of the elite Chicago Marathon field. The marathon website lists 28 athletes who have run from from 2:04:05 to 2:16.17. There are also four athletes who are debuting at the distance.

Kipkchoge is one of the most talented runners in the world, he owns personal best times over a range of distances that indicate he possesses great range and talent, for example his bests from 3,000m and up to the marathon are all world-class, even though he may have spent less time during his career at the shorter distances than his older counterparts like Haile Gebrselassie, Daniel Komen and Bekele. Bekele happens to hold the world records in both the 5,000m and 10,000m distances.

Kipkchoge’s 3,000m best of 7:27.66 makes him the 12th fastest ever at the distance with the 24th fastest time in history. His 5,000m best of 12:46.53 is the ninth-fastest in history and is the fourth-fastest at the distance. Only greats like Gebrselassie, Komen and Bekele have run faster. His 10,000m best is 26:49.02 is nearly as good as is his half-marathon best of 59:25 from two years ago.

Kipchoge has run the marathon as fast as 2:04:05 and is seeded first for Chicago, based entirely on that result. He ran the record on the Berlin course from 2013 edition.

Bekele debuted in the marathon on Sunday, April 6th at the 2014 Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris. He won the event and broke the course record by finishing in the time of 2:05:03. He ran a fairly evenly paced race for a debut, with approximate splits of: half-way 1:02:09, 25k 1:14:00, 30k 1:28:39 and 35k 1:35:46, all indicating just sub-2:05:00 final result.

It is said that anything can and usually does happen during a marathon, for these two events, Berlin and Chicago, it is possible that several athletes will run under the current world record.

Broadcast information can be found here, for the Chicago Marathon.

While Berlin’s access information can be found here.