After a 2012 that has chipped away at Geoffrey Mutai's elite-level marathon status, this long-distance ace is back on top of the marathon world.
The Kenyan won the 2012 Berlin Marathon in a time of 2:15:04.
This was a blistering time, but slightly behind the world record of 2:03:38, which was set by Patrick Makau last year in this very race. Makau did not run in this year's race.
It is no coincidence that these low times are coming in this race. The Berlin course is flat and custom made for low times.
The time is also not the fastest run by Mutai. He won the Boston Marathon last year in a time of 2:03:02. That mark does not count towards the world record though, due to the up and down nature of the course.
Mutai also took the New York marathon last year, which had most pegging him as the best marathoner on the planet.
However, that status took a big hit after Mutai withdrew from this year's Boston Marathon and then was not included on the Kenyan Olympic team.
Well, Mutai is definitely back on track. While he was gunning for a world record in this event, his performance was still impressive. Especially considering, as the Global Post's Jill Langlois points out, that following the race Mutai said, "For sure the record was possible but I had some problems with my leg."
This was the fastest time at a marathon this year, and the sixth fastest ever. While it came on a fast course, it's still a head-turner.
Mutai won this race by just a second over compatriot Dennis Kimetto, but the two had easily pulled away from the rest of the pack.
Leg problems and flat course aside, Mutai made a statement in Berlin: He is still a marathon force.
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