The BMW Berlin marathon has announced that this year’s race will see the two official fastest marathon runners of all time going head to head at their event on 29 September.
Kenyans Patrick Makau and Wilson Kipsang ran 2:03:38 and 2:03:42 respectively in 2011 to set the two fastest times officially recorded. Makau set the benchmark at the Berlin event while Kipsang pushed it to the brink only weeks later, also in Germany at the Frankfurt marathon.
Last year’s race also saw the fastest marathon time anywhere in the world in 2012 run by winner, Geoffrey Mutai (2:04:15) and the fastest ever marathon debut by countryman Dennis Kimetto (2:04:16).
Mutai is the fastest man to cover the marathon distance, running 2:03:02 at the 2011 Boston Marathon, however this is not an official record due to the difference in elevation being greater than 1 metre per kilometre between the start and finish.
Kenyan marathon runners have faced some criticism for electing not to run the upcoming IAAF World Championships in Moscow, with critics claiming runners agents are putting prize-money from the Marathon Majors ahead of the world title. Neither Makau nor Kipsang are running at Moscow, although Kipsang placed third in the 2012 London Olympics.