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More than 30,000 finishers at real,- BERLIN-MARATHON


30.235 runners finished the 33rd real,- BERLIN-MARATHON. For the third time in the history of the race more than 30,000 finishers were recorded. In 2005 the figure was at 30,382, and three years ago it was 30,709. The 2006 figure is divided in 24,098 men and 6,137 women. From a total of 39,636 registered runners from 105 nations 31,427 were running on Sunday. So 96,20 percent of all participants reached the finish. There were quite lot who dropped out but this has to do with the high temperatures – it was the warmest race day ever in Berlin.
From 147 registered handbikers a total of 123 were participating and 120 finished the race. In the wheelchair race all 31 participants finished the race. A total of 40 wheelchair athletes were registered. At the real,- BERLIN-MARATHON for the skaters a total number of 7,932 were registered for the race on Saturday. 6,289 were competing and 6,079 finished.

Haile Gebrselassie underlined his intention to go on to the Olympic Games in Beijing 2008, when he revealed at his post real,- BERLIN-MARATHON victory conference that he will run the Fukuoka Marathon in Japan on December 3.

Gebrselassie, 31 won the real,-BERLIN-MARATHON on Sunday in 2.05.56, the fastest time in the world this year. The multi world record holder and world and Olympic champion was on pace for much of the race to challenge the world record of 2.04.55, set by his erstwhile rival, Paul Tergat of Kenya on the same course in 2003. But the hot and windy conditions ended that aim in the final kilometres. 

“The victory in Berlin has given me more confidence for the marathon at the Olympics,” said the Ethiopian star this morning (Monday), “though I have to qualify for the Ethiopian team for Beijing first! I was confident before Berlin that I would run well and this performance shows that I’m one of the best in the marathon.

“People tell me that Paul Tergat was doing extra long runs before he broke the world record in Berlin three years ago. Well I’m used to running 40k as well. That’s what you have to do for the marathon.

“The pacemakers did a good job overall, it’s just that you can’t expect to have several runners with you towards the end of a race and on course for 2:03 or 2:04.

Paul was lucky he had two men with him late in the race. I admire Paul greatly but I think I can break the marathon world record sometime in the next year. “The warm weather conditions suited me, no problem at all. My strongest opponent was the wind towards the end of the race. From 37 or 38k onwards I was running into the wind and it was hard.”


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