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Kenenisa Bekele will run in the 2021 BMW Berlin Marathon

Can Bekele give the marathon world record one last shot?

Ethiopian distance running legend Kenenisa Bekele shared in a video posted to his Instagram page that he will be competing in the BMW Berlin Marathon on Sept. 26.


Recently Bekele’s marathon career has been bumpy. He has not finished a marathon since Berlin in 2019, where he ran the second-fastest marathon of all time, 2:01:41. In his past six races over the distance, he’s had three DNF’s, including Dubai in 2017, where he wanted to attack the world record, and Berlin in the same year. He has also battled injuries that forced him to withdraw from London in 2020 and the Ethiopian trials.

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Arguably one of the best long-distance runners of all time, Bekele is the second-fastest individual over the 42.195 kilometres race, despite the fact that his unbelievable triumphant performances are each associated with a disappointment. He missed Eliud Kipchoge’s world record by two seconds in 2019 and in 2016, and he missed Dennis Kimetto’s previous world record time by six seconds (2:03:03) in Berlin. Both of his results were personal best times, and still, Bekele is the second-fastest runner in marathon history.

Berlin Marathon
Bekele winning the 2016 Berlin Marathon. Photo: SCC EVENTS/Camera4.

Anything is possible on Sept. 26, but the BMW Berlin Marathon could be Bekele’s last chance at the marathon world record.

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