Edna battle against Gladys and Dibaba in Berlin

The Women race at Berlin is one to watch out for, in addition to Eliud Kipchoge and Wilson Kipsang battling it out for the World Record at Berlin, thou all eyes are on Kipchoge considering his winning form in the recent past while Kipsang looks at getting his winning thirst quenched after some not-so-good two year past.

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Three-time women’s AbbottWMM series champion Edna Kiplagat will become a Six Star Finisher at the 2018 BMW Berlin Marathon this September.

The Kenyan two-time world champion will become the first female elite able-bodied athlete to earn the famous Six Star Medal if she crosses the finish line in the German capital today, adding yet another achievement to a glittering marathon-running career.

Kiplagat, 38, began her AbbottWMM odyssey with victory in the 2010 TCS New York City Marathon and followed that with second place at the Virgin Money London Marathon in April 2011. She then clinched world gold in Daegu in 2011 and another second in London in 2012, where she set her PB of 2:19:50.

She was second again in the UK capital in 2013 and then added a second straight world title with gold in Moscow that same year.

Kiplagat finally cracked the top step of London’s podium in 2014 with victory on The Mall.

Two more podiums (third in Tokyo and second at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon) in 2016 continued a stunning string of AbbottWMM performances, topped by a win in Boston in 2017.

Later that year her form carried her to second in the London World Championships, and she now has her sights trained on the podium in the shadow of the Brandenburg Gate on September 16.

But she will face stiff competition in the form of Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba. The reigning Chicago champion will be making her Berlin debut and hoping to get her Series XII campaign off to a successful start. Dibaba finished second behind Mary Keitany in Series XI after a tough day at the office at the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon where she did not register a finish.

The 32-year-old has won three gold medals at consecutive Olympic Games (2008 and 2012) and five World Championships from 2003 to 2013. For good measure, Dibaba has also four World Cross Country titles to her credit.

Her personal best is 2:17:56, set in finishing second at the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon which makes her the third fastest woman in the history of the marathon.

The 35-year-old Gladys Cherono from Kenya also lines up to defend the title she won in 2017.

Gladys Cherono is the only runner to have broken 2:20, four of her rivals have gone under 2:25: the Ethiopians Amane Beriso (2:20:48), Gulume Tollesa (2:23:12) and Ruti Aga (2:24:41) as well as the Kenyan Valary Aiyabei (2:21:57). “It’s the norm that leading women runners come to Berlin in order to run fast and have the best chance of setting personal bests. So we can reckon with a pace on schedule for breaking 2:20 on Sunday. It could even be the kind of pace to threaten the course record,” said race director Mark Milde.

Gladys Cherono wants to show she is back to her best by producing a world-class time at the BMW BERLIN-MARATHON. “I’ve come to Berlin to attack my personal best,” said Cherono. The 34-year-old Kenyan achieved the fastest marathon time anywhere in the world since April 2012 with the performance she produced in Berlin in 2015. But a lengthy period of injury in the spring of 2016 put paid to chances of going to the Olympics. “I couldn’t run a marathon in 2016 because I had a stress fracture and feared I might never regain top form. But now everything is ok,” said Gladys Cherono.

Another Kenyan who plans for a very fast race is Valary Aiyabei. The 26 year-old had a breakthrough performance in Prague this spring. She improved by almost three minutes to 2:21:57 after running the first part of the race at world record pace. It was the third marathon win in a row for Valary Aiyabai, who recorded first places in Barcelona and Valencia in 2016. „My aim is to equal the time I ran in Prague, but I hope for a personal best. My husband, who is also my coach, will pace me on Sunday. He is my everything,” said Valary Aiyabei.