2013 BMW Berlin Women’s Preview: Florence Kiplagat the Favorite Battles Georgina Rono and Sharon Cherop With the Return of Desi Davila
Florence Kiplagat is the Kenyan record holder at 10,000m and a sub 2:20 marathoner and the favorite in Berlin. She’ll take on Georgina Rono and Sharon Cherop as American Desi Davila hopes to continue her comeback. Irina Mikitenko will go for the Master’s world best.
September 27, 2013
The women’s race at the 2013 BMW Berlin Marathon includes five women who have run under 2:23 in their careers, but one of them is 41-year old Irina Mikitenko of Germany who is well past her prime and not winning (hasn’t broken 2:25 since 2011) and another is American Desiree Davila who is running her first marathon since dropping out of the Olympics last year and admits she’s at best only in 2:26 shape. Neither one of them is winning.
That means there are “Three Women Who Can Win.” We break them down for you below.
1. Florence Kiplagat – KEN – 26 years old – 2:19:44 pb (2011)
2013 Marathon: 2:27:05 for 5th in London.
Prep races: 70:06 13.1 win in Klagenfurt in August.
What he has going for her? Best PR in field by a non-40 year old.
Negatives: She’s finished three marathons in her life and each one has been slower than the previous one – 2:19:44 in London 2011, 2:20:57 in 2012, and 2:27:05 in 2013.
Overall: Big talent (30:11.53 pb) but hasn’t done much this year.
2. Georgina Rono – KEN – 29 years old – 2:21:39 pb (2012)
2013 Marathon: None
Prep races: 69:03 13.1 for second in June in San Diego, 70:51 at altitude for second in Nairobi in July.
What he has going for her? 2:21:39 pb for 2nd in Berlin last year was by far her best race ever. She was also third last year in Boston in 2:33.
Negatives: Has run 9 marathons in her life and only two are under 2:30
Overall: Has a shot
3. Sharon Cherop – KEN – 29 years old – 2:22:39 pb (2012)
2013 Marathon: 2:27:01 for third in Boston.
Prep races: None since June (2nd in 10,000 at nationals in 32:46).
What he has going for her? Has run under 2:24 in four of her 11 marathon finishes. 2012 Boston champ.
Negatives: 3rd fastest pb of the three contenders.
Overall: Only serious contender who has won a major before.
Of the three women contenders, it’s Florence Kiplagat’s race to lose. Given her track prowess (she’s the Kenyan national record holder at 10,000) and the fact that she’s run under 2:21 twice, whereas none of the other contenders have run that fast, she should win if she’s on her game.
The question is, is she on her game?
Mikitenko Goes for Master’s World Best, Desi Davila Returns
While neither American marathon star Desi Davila or Germany star Irina Mikitenko should win on Sunday both have important objectives.
For Mikitenko the objective is breaking Lyudmila Petrova’s masters (40 and up) world best of 2:25:43 from NYC in 2008.
Davila’s main goal is to cross the finish line for the first time in a marathon since the Olympic Trials in January 2012. Davila’s personal best is 2:22:38 when she nearly won Boston in 2011, but persistent injuries starting last year have her thinking much more modest goals on Sunday. A top five finish would suffice.
Runners World has a nice article on Desi here and her Berlin expectations and Desi made the Quote of the Day on LetsRun.com today via a Berlin Marathon Press Release:
“This is a flyer of a course, it lends itself to fast times. And I want to run fast. I’d run any of the (Marathon) Majors in a heartbeat, but if I were to run Chicago, I know all the checkpoints, and if you’re not on the time you expect, you can get disheartened; and New York is too hilly. But this (Berlin) is flat and forgiving, it’s a good course for coming off an injury; and I’ve got great memories of 2009 here (she was 11th in the IAAF World Champs). I’ll start conservatively, and hope to come through at the end. I’m hoping for top five, maybe if some of the others misjudge the pace, top three would be good.”
– Desiree Davila sharing her thoughts and expectations ahead of making her marathon comeback in Berlin this Sunday. Davila last finished a marathon at the January 2012 Olympic Trials where she was 2nd.
More Berlin: LRC Berlin Men’s Marathon Preview