Endurance: Shalane Flanagan

Record pursuits on at Berlin Marathon

September, 26, 2014
Sep 26
Dennis KimettoAP Photo/Andrew A. NellesDennis Kimetto has his sights set on the world marathon record in Berlin.
Making history seems to be on everyone’s agenda for Sunday’s 2014 Berlin Marathon.

The last five world marathon records have been set on the streets of the German capital, and last year Wilson Kipsang ran 2:03:23 to set the record and become the only man to run under 2:04 more than once.

This year's men's field features big names, including one who plans to break Kipsang's record.

The favorite: Dennis Kimetto (Kenya), 2:03:45

Kimetto is looking to make it six world records for the Berlin course. The 30-year-old debuted at Berlin in 2012, appearing to ease up before the finish line to allow training partner Geoffrey Mutai to capture the victory.

Mutai will be in New York on Nov. 2, which means Kimetto can run free and set the course ablaze in a similar fashion to his near-record 2:03:45 in Chicago last year.

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U.S. sets pro squad for Boston Marathon

January, 8, 2014
Jan 8
Amy HastingsAdrian Dennis/Getty ImagesTrack standout Amy Hastings will take to the roads in the 2014 Boston Marathon.
Shalane Flanagan will return to the Boston Marathon, and Dathan Ritzenhein will make his debut at the race this year, John Hancock, which organizes the pro fields for the race, has announced.

The strong U.S. squad for the April 21 marathon also includes Olympic marathoners Desiree Davila Linden and Meb Keflezighi, Olympic 10K runner Amy Hastings, and marathon stalwarts such as Serena Burla (2:28 personal record), Jason Hartmann (fourth place at the last two Bostons), Nick Arciniaga (2013 national marathon champion) and Brett Gotcher (fifth at 2012 Olympic Trials).

Flanagan, a native of nearby Marblehead, Mass., ran Boston for the first time last year, placing fourth in the race marred by twin bombings near the finish line that resulted in three fatalities (plus a fourth during the ensuing manhunt) and numerous injuries.

"It's hard to express what it means to return this particular year to the place where I grew up and compete," Flanagan said. "In one word, I guess it would be 'pride'. I and many in the field will be fueled by those who were affected by the tragedy and will be running for those who cannot."

Although it will be Ritzenhein's first race on the Boston course, he should be well prepared for the route's unique challenges. His coach, Alberto Salazar, won the race in 1982. Ritzenhein should also benefit in his buildup from the fact that Oregon Project teammate Mo Farah will make his marathon debut in London eight days before Boston.

Ritzenhein's most recent marathon was a disappointing fifth-place, 2:09:45 finish in Chicago in October, a race where he was trying to lower the 2:07:47 PR he'd set there the previous year.

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