A pack of runners in action  Photo: Victah Sailer / photorun.net

Lucy Kabuu goes for the 25k word record in BIG 25 Berlin

Lucy Kabuu goes for the 25 k word record, Vincent Kipruto heads men’s field

A pack of runners in action  Photo: Victah Sailer / photorun.net
A pack of runners in action Photo: Victah Sailer / photorun.net

Once again a world-class field has been assembled for Sunday’s BIG 25 Berlin. Vincent Kipruto will head the men’s field. The Kenyan is the silver medal winner from the World Championships’ marathon in Daegu (South Korea) in 2011.

The women’s race will see a world record attempt: Lucy Kabuu intends to attack the mark of 1:19:53, which her fellow-Kenyan established in the BIG 25 Berlin in 2010. Adding other running events organisers expect around 10,000 athletes to take part in the race, which finishes inside the Berlin Olympic Stadium. The BIG 25 Berlin is Germany’s oldest big city road race. It will see its 33rd edition on Sunday.

Vincent Kipruto has not yet competed at the 25 k distance. But his personal bests in the half marathon (60:46) and marathon (2:05:13) suggest that he could do well.

One of his main rivals on Sunday is a runner who has clocked a rare sub 1:12 time for the 25 k distance: Jacob Kendagor was third in Berlin in 2012 with 1:11:59. The Kenyan has recently shown fine form. He won the half marathon in Berlin this April with a personal best of 59:36.

There are three other Kenyans who could do very well on Sunday: Elisha Rotich, Richard Sigei and Philemon Cheboi. But a 17 year-old runner from Eritrea could produce a surprise: Ghirmay Ghebreslassie won the Easter Race in Paderborn (Germany) in April. Despite snowfall he ran 60:09 minutes in the half marathon.

Ghebreslassie’s target on Sunday will be the unofficial world junior record: The fastest 25 k time by a junior was run by Geoffrey Kamworor (Kenya), who had a split of 1:13:17 in the Berlin Marathon in 2011.

It is not expected that the pace in Sunday’s race will be fast enough to break the world record, which Dennis Kimetto (Kenya) ran a year ago in Berlin with 1:11:18. But it should be a fast race with world-class times once again.

The women’s race will see a world record attempt. Lucy Kabuu intends to attack the mark of her fellow-Kenyan Mary Keitany, who had won the BIG 25 Berlin in 2010 with an amazing time of 1:19:53. So far no other woman has run the 25 k distance in a sub 1:21 time. There are very few runners worldwide who might be able to get close to Mary Keitany’s mark or even break it.

However Lucy Kabuu is among those. The 29 year-old has shown very good form earlier this year. She ran the fastest time of the year in the Ras Al Khaimah Half Marathon (United Arab Emirates) with 66:09 minutes. This is the second fastest ever and she missed Mary Keitany’s world record by just 19 seconds.

The women’s field of the BIG 25 Berlin will be the strongest of any German road race this spring. The most prominent name in the line-up besides Lucy Kabuu is Caroline Kilel.

The Kenyan is the Boston Marathon winner from 2011. Esther Chemtai is another strong Kenyan. She won the 10 k race in Paderborn in April with 31:45. Agnes Mutune (Kenya) could also do well. She has a half marathon best of 69:04.

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