With all eyes on a groundbreaking world record in Berlin, Sue McDonald sets a UK mark in Germany while there are world records in the European Masters for Jane Horder and Evaun Williams
BMW Berlin Marathon, Germany, September 24
A barely believable world record for Tigst Assefa of 2:11:53 rightly even greatly overshadowed Eliud Kipchoge’s fifth victory. Charlotte Purdue’s brilliant 2:22:17 going second all-time in the UK all-time lists to Paula Radcliffe’s former world record has surely sealed her Olympic spot for Paris next year.
The full report on the world record is here
However, there was another British performance that was also sensational.
Susan McDonald, the 56-year-old South London Harrier, set a four-minute PB to improve her own British W55 record by six minutes and even go well inside the British W50 record. She ran 2:48:21 by gun time but took a minute to cross the start line and ran 2:47:19 on chip time.
Earlier in the year, McDonald gained a world masters double in Poland over 10km and half-marathon and she completed her preparations for Berlin with three weeks training at altitude in Fort Romeu.
Her form going in to the race did not suggest such a run with a best 5km of 19:10 and a half-marathon best of 83:49 of Poland.
However, McDonald, who usually has a tendency to start too fast, had a dream race and ran her opening 5km splits in a more even than normal 19:25, 19:44, 19:36 and 19:44 but she was still through half-marathon in a PB equalling 82:44.
There was a marginal slowing over the second half but she kept going with splits of 19:44, 19:58, 19:52 and 20:28 and even after that fast first half, she still covered the second half in 84:36 which was quicker than six of her seven half-marathon races in 2023.
The UK W50 record is Zelah Morrell’s 2:50:02 in 2022 while the world W55 record is American Jenny Hitchings’ 2:45:27 run in London this year. Hitchings set that mark at the age of 59 and is now a W60 competitor.
Men: Mar: 1 Eliud Kipchoge KEN 2:02:42; 2 Vincent Kipkemoi KEN 2:03:13; 3 Takele Bikila ETH 2:03:24; 4 Ronald Korir KEN 2:04:22; 5 Haftu Teklu ETH 2:04:42; 6 Andualem Belay ETH 2:04:44; 7 Amos Kipruto KEN 2:04:49; 8 Philemon Kiplimo KEN 2:04:56; 9 Amanal Petros 2:04:58 NR; 10 Boniface Kimuti KEN 2:05:05; 11 Tadesse Abraham SUI 2:05:10 NR; 12 Okbay Tsegay ERI 2:05:20; 13 Josphat Boit KEN 2:05:42; 14 Tadu Abate ETH 2:05:44; 15 Justus Kangogo KEN 2:05:57; 16 Michael Somers BEL 2:08:09; 17 Dennis Chirchir KEN 2:08:22; 18 Samuel Fitwi…