When’s The Last Time This Happened? An American Is The Top Seed At A Major Marathon – Full 2022 Berlin Marathon Fields Released

By Robert Johnson
August 25, 2022

The full elite fields were released this morning for the 2022 BWM Berlin Marathon and for the first time in a long, long time at a major marathon, an American is the #1 seed based on personal best. Yes, that’s right, American record holder Keira D’Amato with her 2:19:12 pb is the fastest woman in the field.

MB: Berlin marathon fields released. Keira D’Amato is the #1 seed. When is the last time an American was the #1 seed at a major

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On this week’s edition of the LetsRun.com Track Talk podcast, we spent a lot of time discussing the fact that D’Amato had chosen Berlin and not Chicago or NYC for her fall marathon. We assumed she chose Berlin because it gave her the best chance to break her own American record, but we missed one other big reason to go to Berlin: even if everyone runs their best in the race, she might be able to win it. If she goes to Chicago, she’d have to race Ruth Chepngetich, the 2019 world champion and fourth-fastest woman in the history of marathon running. If she goes to NYC, any dream of an American record is off the table as the course is hilly, and good luck beating Olympic, NYC, and Boston champ Peres Jepchirchir as well as world champ Gotytom Gebreslase.

Keira after her AR. © 2022 Kevin Morris

In Berlin, she gets most likely the best conditions conducive to running fast (although 3 of the last 4 women’s WR have been set in Chicago, Berlin is viewed as a slightly faster course) and there is no one in the field with a PB better than her. But a victory is far from assured or even expected. Berlin has some major depth on the women’s side this year as there are eight women in the field with a pb under 2:21. In Chicago, if Chepngetich faltered D’Amato would be next in line for the win.

D’Amato isn’t guaranteed to be the fastest American in Berlin or even the American record holder as the third-fastest American ever Sara Hall (2:20:32) is also in the field.

Hall is going to be busy this fall as she is also entered in New York six weeks later. And remember, Hall has already run two marathons this year. This is what Hall’s complete 2022 marathon schedule looks like (she was supposed to run Boston as well but withdrew due to injury):

March 6: 8th in Tokyo in 2:22:56
July 18: 5th at Worlds in 2:22:10
September 25: Berlin Marathon
November 6: New York City Marathon

Here’s how the women’s majors stack up in terms of the PBs entered for 2022:

Sub-2:19 Sub-2:20 Sub-2:21 Sub-2:22 Sub-2:23 Sub-2:24 Sub-2:25
2022 Berlin 0 2 8 8 10 12 14
2022 NY 3 4 5 5 9 11 13
2022 Chicago 1 1 4 4 4 5 5
2022 London 7 8 9 10 10 12 12
2022 Boston 4 7 9 9 12 13 16

The men’s field in Berlin is headlined by the world record holder Kipchoge. Behind him, defending champ Guye Adola is the #2 seed (2:03:46 pb) but he’s far from a sure thing as he only has four marathon finishes in his career which started with his shocking 2:03:46 debut in Berlin in 2017. After that, there are four 2:05 guys and seven 2:06 men. Here’s how the majors stack up on the men’s side in 2022 based on PBs.

Sub-2:02 Sub-2:03 Sub-2:04 Sub-2:05 Sub-2:06 Sub-2:07 Sub-2:08
2022 Berlin 1 1 2 2 6 13 20
2022 NY 0 0 1 4 5 8 11
2022 Chicago 0 0 1 5 7 8 10
2022 London 1 3 7 10 11 11 11
2022 Boston 0 1 5 8 11 13 15

Full Berlin elite fields

MEN
Eliud Kipchoge KEN 2:01:39
Guye Adola ETH 2:03:46
Ghirmay Ghebreslassie ERI 2:05:34
Dejene Debela Gonfa ETH 2:05:46
Mark Korir KEN 2:05:49
Oqbe Kibrom ERI 2:05:53
Ashenafi Moges ETH 2:06:12
Tadu Abate Deme ETH 2:06:13
Bethwell Yegon KEN 2:06:14
Awet Habte ERI 2:06:25
Ryu Takaku JPN 2:06:45
Limenih Getachew ETH 2:06:47
Hiroto Inoue JPN 2:06:47
Alex Kibet KEN 2:07:09
Zablon Chumba KEN 2:07:18
Kenya Sonota JPN 2:07:23
Kento Kikutani JPN 2:07:26
Kazuki Muramoto JPN 2:07:36
Tadashi Isshiki JPN 2:07:39
Atsumi Ashiwa JPN 2:07:54
Daisuke Doi JPN 2:08:13
Rintaro Takeda JPN 2:08:48
Yuki Matsumura JPN 2:09:01
Byambajay Tseveenravdan MGL 2:09:03
Tatsuya Maruyama JPN 2:09:36
Abel Kipchumba KEN 2:09:39
Stephen Scullion IRE 2:09:49
Peter Herzog AUT 2:10:06
Sebastian Hendel GER Debüt
Haftom Weldaj GER 2:13:47
Frank Schauer GER 2:14:43
Erik Hille GER 2:15:04

WOMEN
Keira d’Amato USA 2:19:12
Nancy Jelagat Meto KEN 2:19:31
Gutemi Shone Imana ETH 2:20:11
Maurine Chepkemoi KEN 2:20:18
Workenesh Edesa ETH 2:20:24
Sara Hall USA 2:20:32
Meseret Gola ETH 2:20:50
Vibian Chepkirui KEN 2:20:59
Tigist Abayechew ETH 2:22:45
Bekelech Gudeta ETH 2:22:56
Sayaka Sato JPN 2:23:27
Risper Chebet UGA 2:23:45
Yukari Abe JPN 2:24:02
Meseret Belete ETH 2:24:25
Lisa Weightman AUS 2:25:15
Natasha Wodak CAN 2:26:19
Kanako Takemoto JPN 2:26:23
Sonia Samuels GBR 2:28:04
Tigist Assefa ETH 2:34:01
Rosemary Wanjiru KEN Debüt
Nigsti Haftu Tesfay ETH Debüt
Lisa Oed GER Debüt

Full Berlin Press Release

NEWS RELEASE – BMW BERLIN-MARATHON ON 25 SEPTEMBER:

US record holder Keira d’Amato and Nancy Jelagat Meto head Women’s Field

The American record holder Keira d’Amato and Kenya’s Nancy Jelagat Meto lead a high quality women’s field for the 48th edition of the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON on Sunday, September 25. Keira d’Amato improved the US record to 2:19:12 which also gives her the accolade of the fastest in the women’s field, announced by the organisers today. Eight women will be on the start line with personal bests of under 2:21.

The return of Kenya’s double Olympic champion and world record holder Eliud Kipchoge had already been announced some weeks ago as well as the participation of the current BMW BERLIN-MARATHON champion Guye Adola of Ethiopia. Six men on the start lists have personal bests of under 2:06 while the organisers SCC EVENTS expect more than 45,000 runners from around 150 countries for Germany’s top road race. The BMW BERLIN-MARATHON is an Abbott World Marathon Majors race and a Platinum Label Road Race, awarded by World Athletics, the international governing body of the sport.

“After securing the presence of Eliud Kipchoge and Guye Adola, we are delighted also to have a very strong women’s field on the start line. With the right weather conditions there is certainly a good chance of very fast times,” said race director Mark Milde.

The presence of Keira d’Amato and Nancy Jelagat Meto brings to the event two women who have already run sub-2:20. At the age of 37, Keira d’Amato sprang a major surprise to break the American record with 2:19:12 in winning the Houston Marathon. That led to her late nomination for the World Championships in Eugene where she ran impressively to finish eighth. Sara Hall, who plans to run Berlin and then New York as well, went even better, finishing fifth. Hall’s best time is 2:20:32. Nancy Jelagat Meto showed fine form in the past year, winning the prestigious Valencia title with a major improvement of 2:19:31. Four months previously she made a strong showing with second place in 65:21 at the GENERALI BERLIN HALF MARATHON.

Quite a few women runners will hope to put Berlin’s fast course, where Eliud Kipchoge set the current men’s world record of 2:01:39 in 2018, to good use in their bid to break 2:20: Gutemi Shone Imana has a best of 2:20:11 while Workenesh Edesa has run 2:20:24 and a third Ethiopian,  Sisay Gola, has clocked 2:20:50. The Kenyans also have their contenders to break this landmark time in Maurine Chepkemoi, currently with a best of 2:20:18 and Vibian Chepkirui, who won the Vienna City Marathon in 2:20:59 in April

Nor should marathon debutants be overlooked in the search for potential women winners, given that the Ethiopian Gotytom Gebreslase did just that to win last year’s BMW BERLIN-MARATHON title. Two possible contenders are Rosemary Wanjiru of Kenya and Ethiopia’s Nigisti Haftu. Both have strong performances at half marathon to their credit which could make them realistic challengers.

More information is available online at: www.berlin-marathon.com 

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