Kenya’s Gladys Cherono smashed her personal best and course record when she claimed her third Berlin Marathon victory on Sunday.
Cherono, who broke away from the pack at the 25km mark, swept the course to victory in 2 hours, 18 minutes and 11 seconds, becoming the fourth fastest woman in the history of women’s marathon.
She broke Japanese Mizuki Noguchi’s 13-year-old course record by 61 seconds besides improving her personal best of 2:19:25 set with victory in 2015 in Berlin. Noguchi won the 2005 Berlin in a course record time of 2:19:12.
Cherono, the 2014 World Half Marathon champion, edged out Ethiopia’s Ruti Aga, who was fresh from finishing second at Tokyo Marathon in February and multiple world and Olympic champion Tirunesh Tirunsh Dibaba also from Ethiopia to second and third places in 2:18:34 and 2:18:55 respectively.
“My target was to break he course record and improve on my personal best and I am happy I did it,” said Cherono, who retained her title for her third success in Berlin. She won in Berlin in 2015 in personal best 2:19:25 before reclaiming the title last year in 2:20:23.
Cherono’s time was the fourth fastest time in the history of women’s marathon after Paula Radcliffe’s 2:15:25, Mary Keitany’s 2:17:01 and Dibaba’s 2:17:56.
Cherono got to pocket a total of Sh 9.5 million; Sh 5.5million for winning and a bonus of Sh 4 million from running below 2 hours and 20 minutes.
Aga and Dibaba also got Sh 4 million each in bonuses apart from their prize money.
It was the first marathon in history in which three women finished inside 2:19.