The Ethiopian Hiwot Gibrekidan wants to undercut her world annual best at the Berlin Marathon this Sunday (9.15 a.m. live on ARD).

The 26-year-old ran 2:19:35 hours in an elite race in Milan this May.

“My expectations are high.

I assume that I will manage to stay below this time on Sunday, ”said Gibrekidan on Thursday in Berlin.

If she should complete the first half of the 42.195 kilometers in about 1:09 hours, a course record would also be conceivable.

It stands at 2:18:11 hours, run in 2018 by the Kenyan Gladys Cherono.

Schöneborn wants to "run fast"

Race director Mark Milde stated that the goal was still to offer times below 2:20 hours.

"If it becomes a track record, that would be great, if it becomes an exciting race above the track record, we are also satisfied," said Milde.

Gebrekidan's strongest competitor is likely to be her compatriot Shure Demise, who could stay below 2:20 hours for the first time.

Local hero Rabea Schöneborn from LG Nord, whose best time is 2:27:03 hours, did not want to commit to a target time.

The 27-year-old wants to complete the first half in a good 1:13 hours.

“I want to run fast, the conditions are good,” said Schöneborn, who normally wants to increase the pace on the second 21 kilometers.

In total, the organizers expect around 25,000 runners on Sunday after the corona-related one-year break.

Around 3,000 athletes will take part in the skate marathon on Saturday.

The organizers reckon that more than 90 percent have been vaccinated against the coronavirus or have recovered from an infection.

All other participants must undergo a PCR test.

Philipp Pflieger from the LT Haspa Marathon Hamburg wants to attack his best time of 2:12:15 hours on Sunday despite a slight training deficit.

He had to take a few days off preparation because he had caught an infection in the high altitude training camp in Sestriere.

“I am still in good spirits that the good training the weeks and months before was not in vain and that my form will be back by race day,” said Pflieger.