Saturday, September 27, 2014


8:05 am--Hello from the press center at the Intercontinental Hotel in Berlin, which is the base for our coverage of the BMW Berlin Marathon.  The race gets underway at 8:45 am local time (11:45pm in Seattle), with live streaming coverage on

It's my hope that I can fill in the gaps from what the feed is showing those of you who are brave enough to stay up late (hey, for all I know, some of you could be watching this from a local watering hole--party on!).

From a Pacific Northwest perspective, and for that matter, from an American perspective, all eyes are on Shalane Flanagan of the Bowerman Track Club, as she's stated that she's going for the American record of 2:19:36 set by Deena Kastor in London in 2006.

The 2008 Olympic bronze medalist at 10000 will have Portland's Ryan Vail, who has a PR of 2:10:57, along with Canada's Rob Watson (2:13:29) working with her.

As I've entered the press room this morning, I've been told that Yacob Jarso of Ethiopia, a 2:0617 marathoner who won in Seoul in March, will be the pacer for Tirfi Tsegaye, the Ethiopian who is seen as the primary challenger to Flanagan.   Tsegaye has a PR of 2:21:19

Feyse Tadese, Tsegaye's training partner and winner of the Paris Marathon, is also seen as one of the challengers, along with Kayoko Fukushi of Japan, who has a PR of 2:24:21.

The plan here at the press center is to watch the first half of the race here, then make my way onto the course to get photos of the leaders.

The weather right now is hovering around 50 degrees.  We are expected to approach 60 degrees about the time the elites finish.

In the meantime, here's a link from my friend Aimee Berg on what Flanagan needs to do to get the American record.

8:35 am--To quote my good friend Mark Jones from ESPN, "It's on like Donkey Kong!"

Here's the link to live results from the BMW Berlin Marathon.  We are about 10 minutes away from the start.  On the big screen here in the press room, German TV is showing an interview with figure skater Katerina Witt..

Here's a housekeeping item--given the distance between the press room and certain points on the course, I will have to leave the blog in order to get to the course and shoot photos.

8:51 am--Looks like a group of about 10 or so running with Shalane Flanagan, with Ryan Vail leading the charge in the Flanagan group.  The top women, including Tsegaye & Fukushi are in that pack.

Ryan Vail's bib was misspelled--spelled VALI...oh well!  6:36 through 2k.

9:00 am--Looks like there's five pacesetters up front in the men's race, all wearing identical adidas kits.

9:05 am--In the Flanagan group, Rob Watson is running alongside Shalane, with Vail in the front, checking his watch.  Fukushi is just off to the side of Flanagan.

By the way, I forgot--the men went through 5k at 14:42.  Stats guru Ken Nakamura tweeted that they went though a bit faster last year.

9:14 am--The men go through 10k at 29:23, which projects to 2:03:58.

9:20 am--Shalane goes through 10k at 33:02, surrounded by her pacers.

9:25 am--At 12k, the gang goes through at 39:27, with a 3:12 last k. 2:18:43 is the projected time for Flanagan.

9:30 am--44:09 is the time flashed on the German feed of the race for the lead men at 15k.

9:33 am--Coming up on the 15k mark for Shalane.  She goes through at 49:26, 2:19:03 pace.

9:42 am--In one of the last shots on the feed, looks like Watson's moved up alongside Vail with Flanagan tucked in.

9:48am--Mutai & Kimetto look real relaxed in the men's race as they go thru the half-marathon mark in 1:01:45

9:52 am--Coming up on 20k for Shalane 1:05:59, a 3:17 last k for Flanagan, projecting to 2:19:13.

9:56 am--At the half-way mark, Flanagan crosses in 1:09:38. The three Ethiopians--Tsegaye, Abebech Afework, Feyse Tadese & Takelech Bekele are 19 seconds behind.

10:07 am--The 25 km mark is coming up. 1:22:26 for Flanagan.

That should have been 1:22:36 for Flanagan, which computes to a projected time of 2:19:25.

10:13 am--In the men's race Emmanuel Mutai & Geoffrey Kamwowor are up front in 1:27:37 at 30k, with Dennis Kimetto lurking.

The pace setters have left the top men. The world record chase is on!

10:20 am--There's a better than even chance I may have to leave the blog to play race photographer.

10:53 am--From the time I left to go on the course until now, looks like I've missed a lot. Dennis Kimetto breaks the world record with a time of 2:02:57. Shalane Flanagan dropped to fourth in the women's race.

Here's a (not so good) photo of Flanagan partially obscured by pacer Ryan Vail.

11:02 am--Fernando Cabada is the first American male in 10th in a time of 2:11:36.

11:05 am--Ethiopia's Tirfi Tsegaye will win the women's race in 2:20:19

Flanagan finishes third in a time of 2:21:14, as Feyse Tadese is second in 2:20:27.

Looking forward to hearing everyone's thoughts when they are brought here to the press room for the post race press conference. The finish line is about 3k from the Hotel InterContinental.

11:19 am--We will sign off temporarily until the athletes are brought to the Hotel InterContinental for the post-race presser. Please come back!

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