It may be bright and early in the States, but the Berlin Marathon is long over—at least for the top competitors.
For those competing for top honors, the event, which began at about 3 a.m. ET in the U.S.—about 9 a.m. Berlin time—was long over before the clock struck 5 a.m. in our parts of the world.
And for Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya, there was plenty to prove in this year's race.
The Kenyan was still smarting over being left off his nation's 2012 Olympic team, according to the Associated Press, and this was his opportunity to prove that the committee made a mistake in spurning him. Mission accomplished.
Though he failed to break the world record, which was his goal heading into Sunday's race, Mutai did take home first place in the Berlin Marathon, finishing in two hours, four minutes and 15 seconds, according to the race's official website. That put him one slim second ahead of his top competition and training partner, Dennis Kimetto.
The Berlin Marathon is often very friendly to those seeking to shatter world records because it is mostly a flat course, which makes it far easier to maintain a fast pace throughout the entirety. Alas, Mutai couldn't get the job done on Sunday.
Also finishing at the top was another Kenyan, Geoffrey Kipsang, who finished in 2:06:12 to take third place, according to the official website. In fact, the first eight runners to place in the men's race were all Kenyan; the final two were Japanese.
On the women's side, Ethiopia's Aberu Kebede took first place with a time of two hours, 20 minutes and 30 seconds, beating fellow Ethiopian and second-place finisher Tirfi Tsegaye by a full 49 seconds, according to the official website. Third place went to Ukraine's Olena Shurhno.
Though he came into the race as the favorite, according to Reuters, it wasn't all that easy for Mutai to reach this point: He bowed out of this year's Boston Marathon due to the heat, which is what he believes led to his snub from the 2012 Olympic team.
Prior to this year's Berlin Marathon, Mutai told the AP:
I was disappointed not to finish Boston, and the selection was Athletics Kenya's decision. But it has given me motivation to run well here. ... Because of the hills in Boston you cannot go with the same speed. But the Berlin course is flat, so you can maintain the same speed.
That motivation seems to have paid off.
Despite bowing out of this year's Boston Marathon, that course hasn't been completely devoid of glory for Mutai: In 2011, he won the marathon and beat the world-record mark, according to Reuters via The Star, but world records aren't recognized on the Boston course.
Here's a look at the top 10 finishers on the men's and women's sides.
2012 Berlin Marathon Top Finishers
Men (Results via the marathon's official website)
Women (Results via the marathon's official website)
|9||Sonia Samuels||Great Britain||2:30:56|