The BIG 25 Berlin on 10th May will be the next race for Kenya's running hero Paul Tergat. Race Director Gerhard Janetzky announced the most spectacular signing in the history of Germany's oldest city road race. The 25 k race was initiated by the French forces in West Berlin in 1981 and was then called '25 km de Berlin'. It is renowned for its spectacular finish on the blue track of the Olympic Stadium. The course leads the runners from the arena through the city centre including Brandenburg Gate and back to the stadium, which will host the IAAF World Championships this August. Organisers expect up to 10,000 entries for their race, which will also include a 10 k race and a 5x5 k relay.
Almost six years after achieving his most spectacular victory in Berlin Paul Tergat returns to the German capital. Back in 2003 the Kenyan became the first ever marathon runner to break 2:05 hours. For those who want to run in the same race with Paul Tergat online entry is available at: www.berlin-laeuft.de
"We are extremely happy to have managed to sign one of the best runners in athletics history for the BIG 25 Berlin. Paul Tergat is not only one of the most successful athletes but a symbol for the sport of running and an idol for many. Additionally he takes social responsibilities and supports charity," said Gerhard Janetzky. Since 2004 Paul Tergat is an ambassador of the United Nation’s World Food Programme (WFP).
Paul Tergat was the first one to win the long race of the World Cross Country Championships five times in a row from 1995 to 1999 -- no one has more wins in a row at this event. But Paul Tergat was also successful in track and road races, which made him outstanding. There are only very few athletes who managed to have extraordinary success on all three surfaces. In the 90ies he broke world records at 10,000 m on the track as well as in 15 k and half marathon road races. At the Olympic Games in 1996 and 2000 Paul Tergat won two silver medals in the 10,000 m.
There were many great moments in Paul Tergat's career. But most probably he had the best one in Berlin 2003, when he improved the world marathon record to 2:04:55. Never before had a runner covered the classic distance in a time faster than 2:05. Today Paul Tergat still ranks the fourth fastest marathon runner ever. On 10th May he will return to Berlin and compete at the BIG 25 for the first time.The course record set by Kenya's Paul Koech in 2004 with 1:12:45 is the official world record at this distance as well. It remaims to be seen if Paul Tergat can threaten this mark. The 39 year-old still is in remarkable shape. At the beginning of March he had won the Lake Biwa Marathon in Japan with 2:10:22 despite suffereing of jetlag problems.
More information and online entry are available online at: www.berlin-runs.com.
Paul Tergat at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate in 2003. He will again run through the gate on 10th May. Photo credit: Victah Sailer / photorun.net