Joyce Chepkirui returns to the ASICS Grand 10 in Berlin and intends to run another world-class 10 k time. The 26 year-old Kenyan is the defending champion and course record holder. A year ago she clocked 30:37 to become the sixth fastest 10 k runner ever, missing Paula Radcliffe’s world record by just 16 seconds. The men’s race will feature three athletes who have already run sub 28 minutes: Kenyans Daniel Chebii and Wilson Too as well as Ethiopia’s Kinde Atanaw. Around 7,000 runners are expected to take part in Germany’s fastest 10 k race, which leads through the western city centre of Berlin.
The primary goal in the women’s race will be to improve the current world leading 10 k time of 30:46 minutes. This was recently established by Kenya’s Betsy Saina in Tilburg. Joyce Chepkirui feels she is ready to run such a time and hopes to go even faster on Sunday.
However Chepkirui will face a strong challenge from two fellow-Kenyans. Emily Chebet is the reigning World Cross Country Champion. She won this title in 2013 for the second time after 2010. In 2013 she was fourth in the 10,000 m final of the World Championships in Moscow. Chebet’s personal best at 10 k stands at 30:58. Margaret Wangari Muriuki came back from injury in the spring with a 10 k win in Wuerzburg (Germany). She ran a 31:14 course record there and missed her personal best by just nine seconds.
A year after a thrilling duel in the Prague 10 k race Kenya’s Daniel Chebii and Ethiopia’s Kinde Atanaw will clash again at this distance. It was Chebii who won in Prague with a personal best of 27:35. But he was just one second ahead of Atanaw, who ran a PB as well. The personal record of Wilson Too is just a few seconds slower. The Kenyan showed good form earlier this year, when he won the 10 k in Laredo (Spain) with 27:39. Two Kenyans will run their first race in Europe on Sunday: Daniel Kiprotich and Reuben Maiyo could be in for a surprise.
German interest will focus on Arne Gabius, who uses the Asics Grand 10 as a test race for his marathon debut in Frankfurt on 26th October. The 33 year-old European 5,000 m silver medallist from 2012 intends to improve his personal best of 28:35. Gabius ran a fine half marathon debut in March, when he placed eighth in New York with 62:09.
More information is available online at: Berlin-Runs.com.
The start of the ASICS Grand 10 in 2013 at Schloss Charlottenburg. Credit: Thomas Wenning / BERLIN RUNS