The Ethiopian duo of Tirfi Tsegaye and Feyse Tadese together with Shalane Flanagan of the USA hope to be knocking on the door of an exclusive distance running club when the 41st edition of the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON gets underway at 8.45 am on Sunday (September 28). The trio aim to break the 2:20 barrier for the marathon, a landmark achieved by 18 women so far in history. Five have that distinction in Berlin with Kenya’s Florence Kiplagat the last to succeed in that attempt with her time of 2:19:44 in 2011. The women’s course record of 2:19:12 has remained in the possession of Japan’s 2004 Olympic Marathon champion Mizuki Noguchi since 2005. The BMW BERLIN-MARATHON is an IAAF Gold Label Road Race and a World Marathon Majors (WMM) event.
Tirfi Tsegaye lives in Addis Ababa but hails from Oromia, one of the most fertile sources of Ethiopia running talent, including Kenenise Bekele. The winner of the Paris title two years ago, Dubai last year and Tokyo this February is very much aware of that heritage.
“I’m proud to come from Oromia and to have grown up in the capital of Arsi. I know all about our running tradition and want to represent that here on the streets of Berlin.”