Eliud Kipchoge, the reigning Olympic champion, will lead a pace group at Sunday’s Berlin Marathon, Dumb Runner has learned, shepherding runners who are hoping to run a 2:06.
Kipchoge, a 33-year-old Kenyan, has won Berlin twice and last May ran 26.2 miles in 2:00:25 as part of Nike’s Breaking2 project. His marathon PR, 2:03:05, is eight seconds shy of the world record.
“This year (at Berlin), instead of racing just for myself yet again, I wanted to give something back,” said Kipchoge, “to do something for my fellow runners. Leading a pace group seemed like a natural way to do that.”
The Berlin Marathon has pacers in each of its four waves for a variety of time goals. The 2:06 pace group is the fastest.
Kipchoge said his strategy will be to run even splits, hitting the halfway mark in 63 minutes, “give or take a few seconds.” He encouraged any runner looking to run a 2:06 at Berlin to find him on race day.
“I will be in Wave 1, block A,” he said, “probably near the front. Look for the blue 2:06 flag!”
Kipchoge added that he may also have helium-filled balloons tied to his singlet—if he can find some before the race.
“Balloons would be fun,” he said. “And that is what marathoning is all about.”