Andy Grainger Completes Berlin Marathon In Less Than Four Hours

Two members of travelled to Germany recently to take part in the 39th Berlin Marathon.

The course around the German capital is renowned for being fast and the current world marathon record was set there in 2011. Andy Grainger set his own record by breaking four hours for the first time to set a new personal best of 3:58:19. This was more than three minutes faster than his previous best which was set in the in April.

He said: “The last few miles were a bit of a blur as I pushed to the limit but it was an amazing experience.” He also raised more than £1000 for , a charity that supplies specialist wheelchairs and sports equipment to children and young adults.

Conditions on race day were perfect for running. There was bright sunshine and a temperature of 10oC at the start which rose to 14 oC by the finish. The fine weather also suited the spectators and it was estimated that more than a million of them turned out to cheer on the thousands of runners taking part in the race.

The 42km course takes in a number of famous landmarks such as the Siegessäule, the Reichstag, the Fernsehturm and the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche. The last kilometre is along the wide tree-lined Unter den Linden where there is deafening support from spectators. The final stretch takes runners through the iconic Brandenburg Gate to the finishing line.

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Experienced distance runner Pete Watkinson has completed numerous marathons including 18 in London but it was his first time in Berlin. He commented: “I’ve been meaning to do Berlin for some time and wasn’t disappointed, it’s a great race.” He finished in a commendable 3:36:19.

There were 34,450 finishers and the race was won by Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya in 2.04.15 a second ahead of his training partner, Dennis Kimetto, who recorded the fastest marathon debut in history ¬– 2.04.16. The women’s race was won by Aberu Kebede of Ethiopia in 2:20:30 and her training partner, Tirfi Tsegaye, also finished second, covering the 26 miles in 2:21:19.

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