In normal years, the BMW Berlin Marathon is the first of the fall Wanda World Marathon Majors. For many years, thanks to sponsorship and advertising, I frequented the race. It is a wonderous affair, and the most cosmopolitan city in Europe celebrates running it its own style. A plethora of world records, happy participants in the mass rollerblading event and running event, and the sites of the great city are captivating.
I watched the Berlin marathon via French TV and then, Kenyan TV, and enjoyed the commentating as well.
But, 2021 was special and I wanted to share with you my deep thoughts on the 2021 BMW Berlin Marathon.
1. The BMW did not have any world records in 2021, but they had two fine races. Due to the overly enthusiastic pacing in the first half of the marathon, there were some seriously hurting elite men in Berlin. Bethwel Yegon ran a near perfect race, almost steeling it from Guye Adole. Kenenisa Bekele actually finished, but also, and more importantly, gutted it out. He will probably be more of a factor in NYC.
2. Enhanced drug testing is back. Times will slow on both the men and women, but that is good. Our sport needs to be believable. It does not seem to be about the shoes anymore, thank God. Most of the elite have shoes that are similar so there seems to be somewhat of an even playing field.
3. The enhanced hygeine at races is here to stay. Not sure we will not be dealing with a pandemic in some sort for awhile. Keeping people safe, and bringing back big races as well as little races is key to keeping the running community healthy.