Sheila Kiprotich Chepkirui produced the performance of the day, breaking the course record of the 41st GENERALI BERLIN HALF MARATHON. Despite very cold conditions with almost freezing temperatures at the start she clocked a world-class time of 65:02. It is the 18th fastest half marathon time ever run by a woman.
Fellow-Kenyans Joyce Chepkemoi and Irene Kimais took second and third with 65:50 and 66:34 respectively. For the first time in the history of the race three women broke 67 minutes.
Sheila Kiprotich Chepkirui (KEN) is the winner of the GENERALI BERLIN HALF MARATHON in 65:02 minutes with a new course record. Credit: SCC EVENTS/camera4
The men’s race was also dominated by the Kenyans, who took all podium places. Alex Kibet was the winner with 58:55, missing the course record by just 13 seconds. Joshua Belet was second in 59:53 while pre-race favourite Abel Kipchumba finished third with 59:58. Including competitions staged parallel to the main race, organisers of the 41st GENERALI BERLIN HALF MARATHON registered a total of 33,336 athletes from 121 nations.
Alex Kibet (KEN) wins with 58:55 minutes at the GENERALI BERLIN HALF MARATHON 2022. Credit: SCC EVENTS/camera4
Cold temperatures and even a bit of snow just before the start did not provide good conditions for record attempts. Despite this 31 year-old Sheila Kiprotich Chepkirui stormed away right after the start. Guided by pacemakers she passed 10k in 30:32 and was on course for 64:30 at this stage of the race. “But during the final five kilometers I felt really cold and could not hold on to the pace,“ said Sheila Kiprotich Chepkirui. „I had hoped to break my personal best of 64:36, but at least I won the race with a course record. I am now planning to run my marathon debut later in the year, so maybe I will return to Berlin in September,“ said the Kenyan. She broke the course record of fellow-Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei who had won in Berlin in August last year with 65:16.
While Britain’s Samantha Harrison was the fastest non-African runner with a personal best of 68:12 in fifth place, once again Katharina Steinruck coped very well with cold conditions. She was the fastest German runner in sixth place with a personal best of 69:38. “For me it was fun today,“ said Katharina Steinruck.
As expected Kenya’s elite runners dominated the men’s race as well. Early on they were forming the leading group. After a 10k split time of 28:00 it was Alex Kibet who took the initiative soon after that mark. The 31 year-old broke away and no-one was able to challenge him in the second half of the race. Kibet had entered the race with a PB of 59:06 and was the number two on the start list. The Kenyan increased his advantage to almost one minute and crossed the line at the Brandenburg Gate in 58:55. While he missed the course record Alex Kibet clocked the second fastest time ever run in the history of the GENERALI BERLIN HALF MARATHON and a personal best. “I hoped to run quite a bit faster, but it was difficult in the cold conditions. I have not broken the world record today, but at least I have won the race,“ said Alex Kibet.
Norway’s Zerei Mezngi and Dominic Lobalu of Switzerland were the fastest Europeans taking fifth and sixth positions in 60:42 and 61:01 respectively. Surprisingly Germany’s national record holder Amanal Petros, who clocked 60:09 last year, was not the fastest German in Berlin. Trying to bring his own record down to a sub one hour time he faded in the cold conditions and finished 15th in 62:21. Johannes Motschmann was the fastest German runner. Competing for the Marathon Team Berlin of race organiser SCC EVENTS he improved to 61:45 and placed tenth.
German double victory by Josie Hofmann and Felix Rijhnen in the skaters' race
A spectacular sprint led Felix Rijhnen (Powerslide) to his third victory at the GENERALI BERLIN HALF MARATHON. He beat Frenchman Martin Ferrié (EOSkates) by a razor-thin margin in 33:49 minutes. A German also won the women's race: Josie Hofmann (Powerslide) from Erfurt in 37:53 minutes. A total of 1,042 inline skaters celebrated the start of the roller season and the GERMAN INLINE CUP 2022.
On the course, a leading group around Valentin Thiebault (FRA/Powerslide) had initially broken away. At kilometer 15 Felix Rijhnen and Martin Ferrié managed to close the gap to the leaders and pull away. Until the finish they extended their lead to almost 50 seconds. In the final sprint to the finish, Rijhnen beat Ferrié by a razor-thin margin. In the mass sprint of the chasing pack sprint specialist Valentin Thiebault (FRA/Powerslide) secured 3rd place in 34:41 minutes. "I am mega happy that I could win after such a long and hard ice season. I'm surprised how well it went today, especially since I couldn't prepare that well due to illness," Rijhnen said after the race. "I was able to make full use of my experience over the many years in Berlin. It's just a pity that Kathi couldn't be there due to her Corona infection," said the Darmstadt native with regard to his wife Katharina Rijhnen (formerly Rumpus), who herself has won the GENERALI BERLIN HALF MARATHON four times.
In the women's race, too, a duel on the home stretch decided the race. Josie Hofmann and Marine Lefeuvre (FRA/EOSkates) distanced themselves from the field already at the halfway mark. Until the finish they extended their lead to more than 1:30 minutes. Particularly noteworthy was the spectacular, especially deep finish step with which Hofmann pushed her rollers across the finish line first after 37:53 minutes. After Lefeuvre (37:53 minutes), Belgian Sabrina Gaudesaboos (EOSkates) finished third in 39:25 minutes. "My goal was clearly to win today. But having just switched from the ice back to the road, I didn't know how good I was," Hofmann said. "My long-term goal is clearly the Olympics on ice, but I won't let inline skating out of my sight for that," the winner explained.
Alex Kibet KEN 58:55
Belet Joshua KEN 59:53
Abel Kipchumba KEN 59:58
Fastes German men: Johannes Motschmann (Marathon Team Berlin) 61:45
Sheila Kiprotich KEN 65:02
Jocye Chepkemoi KEN 65:50
Irene Kimais KEN 66:34
Fastes German woman: Katharina Steinruck (Eintrach Frankfurt) 69:38
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