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Berlin Marathon notebook

Sunday September 24 2017

Eliud Kipchoge

Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya crosses the finish line to win the Berlin Marathon on September 24, 2017 in Berlin. He is set to defend his title today. PHOTO | MICHELE TANTUSSI |  AFP

ELIAS MAKORI
By ELIAS MAKORI
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Air Berlin’s BIG flight mess

Athletes and journalists travelling to and from the Berlin Marathon were forced to make last minute changes to their itineraries, some forced to jump onto trains for long rides to Berlin after local airline, Air Berlin, went broke. Air Berlin went bankrupt last week and were forced to cancel all their flights with domestic connections worst hit.

One had to make a seven-hour train journey from Munich to Berlin, for instance, as a substitute for the hour-long connecting flight. Lufthansa has since made a 200 Euros bid to take over assets of the insolvent airline.

No election drama here
Germans went to the polls on Sunday with Chancellor Angela Merkel, through her Christian-Democrat Party, expected to win a fourth term in office.

But unlike Kenya where the General Election is characterized by political noise-making, ugly billboards and endless demonstrations, the polls here have been smooth and an outsider will hardly realize there’s an election save for the updates on German television.

Officials and athletes at the Berlin Marathon went on with their business first before heading to the polling stations ahead of the 6pm closing time.

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Less fortunate cash in on marathon

Homeless families and several other locals could be seen at the starting point of the Berlin Marathon yesterday collecting clothes left behind by the close to 45,000 runners who competed in yesterday’s race.

Many athletes threw away their tracksuits and jackets, ready to hit the streets in singlets and shorts, with the less privileged members of the Berlin society quick to pick up valuable items as the athletes sped away. Perhaps some of these items make their way to Nairobi’s Gikomba market as used clothes, or mitumba.

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