Will there be another world leading road race time to be improved in Berlin? Just two weeks after Geoffrey Mutai has taken the Berlin Marathon with 2:04:15 his own 10 k mark will come under threat in the German capital renowned for superfast times in road races. Organiser BERLIN RUNS will stage the ASICS Grand 10 this Sunday, where Leonard Komon had tied the world lead a year ago with 27:15 minutes. The Kenyan returns to Berlin for the 10 k race and will go for a hattrick plus another very good time. Two years ago the world record holder (26:44) had established the course record of 27:12, which still is a German allcomer record. Around 7,000 runners will participate in the ASICS Grand 10, which will be staged on a loop course leading through the western part of the city centre and also through parts of the Berlin zoo.
Leonard Komon will not watch out for lions or tigers when passing through the zoo but instead will check the clock on the lead car. He intends to run at least 27:28 minutes on Sunday, which would be just enough to establish a new world lead. By coincidence fellow-Kenyan Geoffrey Mutai, who had won the Berlin Marathon in September, is the number one so far this year at 10 k as well. He had run 27:29 in Boston on 24th June.
Leonard Komon has shown good form recently, when he took the 10 mile race in Zaandam (Netherlands) in September. He clocked 44:48 in that race after passing the 10 k mark with 27:36. The 24 year-old will face strong contenders in the ASICS Grand 10 on Sunday. Among a group of seven Kenyans there are two who have run the 10 k distance faster than 28 minutes: Alex Korio (27:52) and David Kogei (27:57).
Steffen Uliczka should be Germany's strongest runner on Sunday. The 3,000 m steeple chaser so far has a personal best of 29:17 minutes. But he should be able to run faster on the flat Berlin course as he had done well in long distance cross country events in the past.
The women's race will not be as strong as the men's event. Germany's young long distance hope Anna Hahner will be among the favourites. The 22 year-old had placed eighth in the Berlin Marathon in September, clocking 2:30:57. Her personal best at 10 k stands at 33:24 minutes. It remains to be seen if she is already fresh enough after the marathon to take victory. Her strongest rivals most likely are Katarina Beresova (Slovakia/PB: 34:36) and Lucie Sekanova (Czech Republic/35:02).
More information is available online at: Berlin-Runs/com.
Leonard Komon winning the ASICS Grand 10 in 2010. Photo: BERLIN RUNS / Jürgen Engler