Many marathons lay claim to be the best race in the world - and most of them with good reason. As an organisation of close to 300 races in 85 countries, the vast majority of them marathons, AIMS appreciates that every race offers a unique reflection of their location. For the footloose marathon runner, every race is unique because it offers an exclusive experience. Singling any particular race out for citation would be to deny the diversity that is on offer.
Notwithstanding this general outlook, last month AIMS made an exceptional award - 'The Marathon of the Decade', to the real Berlin Marathon. Why? Because Berlin has led by example. Even before the decade in question, (1998 - 2008) Berlin pioneered popular use of chip timing. Leadership from 1998 - 2008 was more literal, from Ronaldo da Costa's 2:06:05 'world best' to Haile Gebrselassie's current 'world record' 2:03:59. The change in official terminology itself from 'world best' to 'world record' was inspired by the level 'field of play' offered by the Berlin course on which no less than 6 putative world records had been set from Ronaldo's time to Haile's.
And there's more ...
Berlin looked like it had peaked in the landmark 1990 reunification race with a record race entry of 25,000. Despite several subsequent years in the doldrums, Berlin as been resurgent in the new Millennium with more than 35,000 finishers last year, second in numbers only to the founding father of the popular New York Marathon.
The Dextro Energy World Championship Series continued in Washington on 21 June 2009. As the only North American leg in the series, Washington DC was very proud to host the race.
The Age Group Triathletes have the opportunity to race with the elite competitors competing right behind them. There was a choice of either the Olympic or the Sprint distance, both of which were sanctioned by the USAT (USA Triathlon).
Winners were greeted along Pennsylvania Avenue towards the finish line with cowbells and cheers.
The male winner, who claimed gold, was Alistair Brownlee from Great Britain who succeeded in winning the Madrid leg of the series just three weeks before. He accredited his success to his solid winter training. Alistair then went on to win the Kitzbuhel leg of the race on July 11, making himself a hat trick
No one could touch Australia's Emma Moffatt who was the clear gold winner of this leg of the Triathlon series with a time of 1:59:55; the only woman competitor to finish in less than two hours.
The weather was less than ideal on the day with rain and wind making the Potomac River rather choppy to swim in. The sun appeared during the run, which helped to raise spirits and pace.
The series has one remaining event in Yokohama.
And the final is held in the Gold Coast, Australia from 9 to 13 September 2009.