Ebenyo and Muluat win the GENERALI BERLIN HALF MARATHON 2024

Kenya’s pre-race favourite Daniel Ebenyo and Ethiopia’s youngster Tekle Muluat took the 43rd edition of the GENERALI BERLIN HALF MARATHON. In warm weather with temperatures of well over 20 Celsius any hopes for a record race did not materialize. Ebenyo led a Kenyan clean sweep with a winning time of 59:30. Amos Kurgat (59:42) and Isaia Lasoi took second and third with 59:42 and 59:47 respectively. 19 year-old newcomer Tekle Muluat became the surprise champion with 66:53. Fellow-Ethiopian Ftaw Zeray was second with 67:22 and Germany’s Melat Kejeta took third place in 67:26.

With a record entry of 38,712 runners the GENERALI BERLIN HALF MARATHON is among the world’s biggest races over this distance.

Men´s Race

Daniel Ebenyo avoided talking about a world record attempt at Friday’s pre-race press conference, but that was his big goal on Sunday. The silver medallist of last year’s World Half Marathon Championships started very fast and quickly was well ahead with his pacemaker Bravin Kiptoo. The two passed the 5k mark in 13:28 which pointed to a sensational sub 57:00 finishing time, well under the mark of Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo (57:31). However this pace was a bit overambitious and with rising temperatures there was no chance for Daniel Ebenyo to keep running that fast. With a 27:29 10k split he was outside world record pace and from then on he had to run alone at the front. Ebenyo slowed further and soon after 15k (41:35) the 58:42 course record looked out of reach as well.

“I came here to Berlin because I wanted to break the world record. But from around eleven kilometres I had a problem with my knee and the weather became very warm. So I knew I would not be able to break the record, but I will definitely try again next time,“ said Daniel Ebenyo, who lost most of his huge lead in the final seven kilometres. However he held on and finished twelve seconds ahead of Amos Kurgat.

Germany’s Samuel Fitwi produced another strong race in Berlin. Despite also slowing considerably in the final stages he managed to run a PB of 61:33 and finish in ninth position, the same as a year ago. Fitwi also dipped under the qualifying time for the European Championships in Rome in June.

Women´s race

While spectators could enjoy the warm weather in summer clothes for the runners it was far from ideal. This also showed in the women’s elite race. The first couple of kilometre splits indicated that the 65:02 course record could be attacked and that Melat Kejeta might go for the European record of 65:15. However when the women reached the 10k mark in 31:25 hopes for records were non-existent any more.

The race was now about victory. Ethiopians Tekle Muluat and Ftaw Zeray were already in the lead at the 10k point and soon moved well clear. With less than five kilometers to go newcomer Muluat left behind her rival. With a winning time of 66:53 she was 29 seconds ahead of Zeray. “I am overwhelmed to have won the race, because I never expected a victory today,“ said Tekle Muluat, who only ran her second race outside Ethiopia today. She was second in the Rome Ostia Half Marathon a month ago with 67:41.

Melat Kejeta came through from fifth to third position and clocked 67:26. “I am happy with my performance, but it was too warm for me. I wanted to run a faster time, but during the race I had to reduce my speed because of the conditions,“ said the German record holder (65:18).

Lauren McNeil and Clara Evans of Great Britain finished in fifth and sixth positions with 70:10 and 70:11 respectively. Both were inside the 70:30 qualifying time for the European Championships.

With a record number of 38,712 registered participants, the GENERALI BERLIN HALF MARATHON 2024 will go down in the history books. "We also had more spectators along the course than ever before," said a delighted Race Director Mark Milde. Together with the participants from 134 nations, they celebrated a huge, peaceful sports festival.

Prominent participants from the worlds of sport, politics and entertainment

André Schürrle, a football world champion from 2014, was also among the participants. In 1:41:14 hours, he reached the finish line a good half a minute ahead of TV presenter Kai Pflaume (1:41:51). With more than 100 athletes from eight European national companies, title partner GENERALI also showed a very strong commitment to the race. The CEO of Generali Deutschland AG, Stefan Lehmann, and Giulio Terzariol, CEO Insurance Generali Group, also took part. Also at the start: CDU General Secretary Carsten Linnemann and Franziska Brandmann, JuLi Chairwoman.

German record for Merle Menje

The winner of the women's racing wheelchair race had a special reason to celebrate. With her time of 50:37 minutes, 19-year-old Merle Menje set a new German record. Menje also left the men's field completely behind her. "It was a very tough race today, as I raced alone almost from the start. As I'm training very well at the moment, the record was my goal."

Inline skating

The inline skaters' race was characterised by many breakaway attempts right from the start line. Above all, Felix Rijhnen (Powerslide) from Darmstadt looked for every gap to leave the field behind him. Eventually, a group of four formed with Nolan Bediaf (FRA/TAX RACING), Felix Rijhnen, Alexander Bastidas (VEN/Team Roller A4) and Livio Wenger (CH/Arena Geisingen CCN Team). "At the halfway point, it became clear that Felix and I had a bit more power, so from then on we rode in pairs," said Bediaf, summarising the course.

In the final sprint to the finish, the Frenchman was just ahead of Rijhnen (both 30:13 min.). "The final sprint was ten metres too long for me today, but I'm still very happy with my season opener and I'm very confident going into the next races," said Rijhnen. Third place went to Alexander Bastidas (31:24 min./Team Roller A4) from Venezuela, who has lived in Berlin since 2016. "For me as a South American, the winter in Berlin is always very tough, so today's conditions were perfect," said Bastidas, who first competed in the GENERALI BERLIN HALF MARATHON in 2009.

In contrast to Bastidas, it was the first participation for both Laura Files (Team Bayern) and Leni Sommer (Skate Club Allgäu). "I'm very happy to finish right at the front at my first start in Berlin," said winner Laura Files (38:57 min.). Debutant Leni Sommer came out on top in the women's mass arrival by a wafer-thin margin ahead of experienced skater and speed skater Claudia Pechstein (SCC Skating) (both 38:58 min.)

The GENERALI BERLIN HALF MARATHON was also the opening race of the GERMAN INLINE CUP. In addition to the professionals, there is also a separate fitness classification: the first-placed runners were Kevin Massa (ITA) ahead of Adrian Gumanita (ROU) and Eduardo Chittofrati (ITA) - Melanie Bayrhof (GER) won the women's race ahead of Sophie Kämpfer (GER) and Anna Zanetti (ITA).
Top men:
1. Daniel Simiu Ebenyo (KEN) 59:30 min
2. Amos Kurgat (KEN) 59:42 min
3. Isaia Kipkoech Lasoi (KEN) 59:47 min

Top women:
1. Tekle Muluat (ETH) 66:53 min
2. Ftaw Zeray (ETH) 67:22 min
3. Melat Kejeta (GER) 67:26 min

More results (here)