The 2023 Berlin Marathon, set to take place on Sunday, September 24, 2023, will feature a notable presence of Ugandan runners alongside renowned marathon legend Eliud Kipchoge from Kenya.
Berlin Marathon is one of the six prestigious World Marathon Majors, which include Tokyo, Boston, London, Chicago, and New York City Marathons.
Eliud Kipchoge, widely recognized as a world-class marathoner, will be the center of attention in Berlin. He has a remarkable track record in this event, having won four out of five previous Berlin Marathons and setting two world records along the way. In 2022, he established a new world record with a time of 2 hours, 1 minute, and 9 seconds, surpassing his 2018 record by 30 seconds.
At the upcoming 2023 Berlin Marathon, Kipchoge faces the challenge of competing against himself. Although fellow Kenyan runners Amos Kipruto and Jonathan Maiyo, who have the closest recorded times to Kipchoge, will be on the starting list, Kipchoge’s dominance in Berlin is well-established.
Joining Kipchoge in his pursuit of breaking barriers and promoting the mantra of “no human is limited” is Jacob Kiplimo, a 22-year-old long-distance runner from Uganda. Kiplimo, a two-time Commonwealth champion and the current world record holder for the half-marathon distance, will serve as a pacer for the elite runners, including reigning Berlin Marathon champion Kipchoge.
This marks the second time Kiplimo has taken on the role of a pacer for Kipchoge, the first being during the successful INEOS Challenge in Vienna, Austria, in 2019. His return to the marathon scene follows a recent recovery from an injury that prevented him from participating in the Budapest World Athletics Championships.
Beyond Kiplimo, a group of 22 non-elite Ugandan runners will also participate in the Berlin Marathon. They draw inspiration from Kipchoge’s words of limitless potential, embracing the challenge of completing the 42-kilometer race.
These Ugandan participants include individuals at various stages of their marathon journeys, from beginners to those with experience in other World Marathon Majors and events like the Comrades Race in South Africa.
One such participant is Evelyn Mulinda Okecho, a wife and mother of three in her 40s. She embarked on her running journey last year, gradually increasing her distances and completing events like the Source of the Nile Run and the Kilimanjaro Marathon.
Mulinda views running as a way to clear her mind and gain fresh perspectives in her work as a marketer with a focus on research and business intelligence. It has become a lifestyle for her, helping her plan her day and think through complex problems.
For these Ugandan runners, the 2023 Berlin Marathon represents an opportunity to test their limits, draw inspiration from elite athletes like Kipchoge and Kiplimo, and showcase their determination on the global stage.
The Berlin Marathon is part of the exclusive group of World Marathon Majors, making it a prestigious event that attracts runners from around the world. Uganda’s presence in this race reflects the country’s growing interest and participation in international marathon events.
The Ugandan contingent, prepared by the popular running club Team Matooke, has been training diligently for this event. They will join thousands of other runners in Berlin, each with their unique motivation and goals, all united by the shared experience of tackling the challenging 42-kilometer course.