NAIROBI, Kenya, September 30- Geoffrey Mutai has clinched the $500,000 (approx Sh42.6m) World Marathon Majors Series after winning the Berlin Marathon on Sunday although the planet’s fastest marathoner failed to break the world record.
Mutai who was chasing compatriot’s Patrick Makau Musyoki’s 2:03:38 official world record led a Kenyan clean sweep in the men’s race by breasting the tape in a world leading 2:04:15 for his first marathon victory of the season.
“I had the chance to break the world record but after 35km, I had stomach cramps and I decided to maintain the pace. I thank God for winning this race and it was possible to break the world record but I tried even though I could not move,” Mutai told organisers after the race.
Debutant and training partner Dennis Kimetto (2:04:16) and another first timer and the World Cross junior champion Geoffrey Kipsang (2:06:12) took the minor podium positions behind the runner who breezed to 2:03:02 last year in Boston to become the fastest ever to complete the 42km distance.
“I was not expecting to finish close to him since I knew I could not beat him but I’m delighted with today’s performance and in future, I will compete for the world record,” Kimetto, who registered the fastest ever marathon debut in history said with the winner translating for him.
Kenyans occupied the first eight positions in the men’s race in the event where Ethiopia’s Aberu Kebede won the corresponding women’s race with 2:20:30.
Mutai’s victory earned him 25 points in the WMM Series accumulated an unassailable 75 points to clinch the two-year cycle series to become the fifth Kenyan male in succession to scoop the jackpot.
Robert ‘Mwafrika’ Cheruiyot, Martin Lel, the late Samuel Wanjiru (twice) and namesake Emmanuel Mutai are his predecessors in the elite circuit competition and he will officially be crowned at the end of the New York Marathon next month.
LEADING RESULTS (Kenyan unless stated)
1. Geoffrey Mutai 2:04:15
2. Dennis Kimetto 2:04:16
3. Geoffrey Kipsang 2:06:12
4. Nicholas Kamakya 2:08:28
5. Josphat Keiyo 2:08:41
6. Jonathan Maiyo 2:09:19
7. Eliud Kiptanui 2:09:59
8. Felix Keny 2:10:22
9. Masakazu Fujiwara 2:11:31/JAP
10. Suehiro Ishikawa 2:11:46/JAP
1. Aberu Kebede 2:20:30/ETH
2. Tirfi Tsegay 2:21:19/ETH
3. Olena Shurhno 2:23:32/UKR
4. Filomena Chepchirchir 2:24:56
5. Fate Tola 2:25:14/ETH
6. Alevtina Biktimirova 2:28:45/RUS
7. Caroline Chepkwony 2:30:34
8. Anna Hahner 2:30:37/GER
9. Sonia Samuels 2:30:56/GBR
10. Degefa Biruktayit 2:33:27/ETH