Skip to main content

Perkins Crushes 100 Meilen Berlin Course Record (updated)

by Brett Larner
photos by Dr. Helmut Winter

In the 25th anniversary year of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Great Britain's Mark Perkins ran the race of his life to take nearly three hours off the 100 Meilen Berlin course record and an hour off his own best, covering the 100 mile course along the former path of the Berlin Wall in 13:06:52.

A partially handicapped runner ranked 6th in the world for 100 km in 2013, Japan's Tsutomu Nagata took the race out hard in his European debut, running mid-11 hour pace, just one second off world record pace through 21 km, and holding near world record level through 30 km before settling into something more sustainable in the low-12 hour range.  Skipping many aid stations while receiving on-the-run assistance from his wife and daughter, Perkins was never far behind him, maxing out at 4 minutes behind as he followed Nagata's lead and ran steadily on low-12 hour pace.



Nearing halfway Nagata began to suffer stomach trouble and slowed.  Perkins made contact around 75 km, but while Nagata tried to stay with him he quickly lost touch and was two minutes behind by 79 km.  Now alone out front, Perkins gradually slowed, unchallenged the rest of the way but just missing a rare sub-13 hour clocking as he knocked the course record from last year's 15:53:45 to a world-class 13:06:52, a major improvement on his 14:03:54 best.  Runner-up Marco Bonfiglio just missed Perkins' old PB as he took 2nd in 14:04:27.  The top five, including last year's course record-setter Peter Flock, all broke the former course record.

After being left behind Nagata suffered mightily from his internal problems, clocking over an hour for the 6 km from 79 to 85 km after an extended break at an aid station.  Following that he got back in gear with some of the fastest splits of his race, but he again ran into trouble near 110 km.  After staggering through the next 27 km Nagata talked with the race doctor who made an initial determination that his stomach trouble made it dangerous for him to continue the race, but thanks to the intervention of an interpreter Nagata was allowed to continue.  Pulling himself together, he covered the final 23 km two minutes faster than winner Perkins' split, crossing the line in 11th in 16:50:59.



Nearly an hour and a half after him, women's winner Grit Seidl finished in 18:16:29 not far ahead of fellow German Martina Schliep, 2nd in 18:59:19.  Canadian Veronique Bourbeau was 3rd in 21:19:32.  All told 120 men and 10 women in the starting field of 300 cleared 24 hours for the complete course.

Update: Winner Mark Perkins has posted his recap of his race here.  Read Dr. Helmut Winter's firsthand account of the race in German here.

100 Meilen Berlin
Berlin, Germany, Aug. 16-17, 2014
click here for complete results

Men
1. Mark Perkins (Great Britain) - 13:06:52 - CR
2. Marco Bonfiglio (Italy) - 14:04:27 (CR)
3. Patrick Hoesl (Germany) - 15:19:46 (CR)
4. Peter Flock (Germany) - 15:51:50 (CR)
5. Christof Kuehner (Germany) - 15:53:31 (CR)
-----
11. Tsutomu Nagata (Japan) - 16:50:59

Women
1. Grit Seidl (Germany) - 18:16:29
2. Martina Schliep (Germany) - 18:59:19
3. Veronique Bourbeau (Canada) - 21:19:32

text (c) 2014 Brett Larner, all rights reserved
photos (c) 2014 Dr. Helmut Winter, all rights reserved

Comments

TokyoRacer said…
Nagata is a tough dude.
Anna Novick said…
Amazing. Can't believe he finished.

Most-Read This Week

Yuta Shitara Breaks Japanese Men's Half Marathon National Record in Berlin Marathon Tuneup at Usti nad Labem Half

A week after his 28:55 at the Birell Prague Grand Prix 10 km and just eight days out from the Berlin Marathon, Yuta Shitara (Honda) made the great leap forward, taking 8 seconds off Atsushi Sato's 2007 half marathon Japanese national record, finishing 8th at the Czech Republic's Usti nad Labem Half Marathon.

Shitara is probably most well-known outside Japan for going through halfway under 62 minutes during his marathon debut at this year's Tokyo Marathon and still ending up with a 2:09:27, but he's been turning heads in Japan since his second year at Toyo University when he broke a stage record at the 2012 Hakone Ekiden and outkicked the U.S.A.'s Dathan Ritzenhein to finish in 1:01:48 at the NYC Half two months later, until this year the fastest time ever by a Japanese man on U.S soil.

Three weeks before Tokyo this year he ran a 1:01:19 PB at the Marugame Half. Many people would call that a solid tuneup three weeks out from a serious marathon, but eight days? In P…

Hattori Becomes Third-Straight Japanese Men's Sydney Marathon Winner

Following within 24 hours of Yuki Kawauchi's win at the BMW Oslo Marathon and Yuta Shitara's national record at the Usti nad Labem Half Marathon, Shota Hattori (Honda) made it an overseas hat trick for men from Japan's Saitama prefecture when he won the Sydney Marathon in 2:15:16. Having debuted at February's Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon with a 2:14:19 for 2nd, Hattori outlasted Ethiopian Werkuneh Seyoum Aboye, Kenyan Sammy Kigen Korir (Kenya) and compatriot Ryoma Takeuchi (Hitachi Butsuryu) to become the third-straight Japanese men's Sydney champ, winning by a margin of 20 seconds over Aboye.

Congratulations to Shota Hattori, male winner of the Blackmores Marathon – with a time of 02:15:16. #SydneyRunningFestivalpic.twitter.com/R47w8TCG2X — SydneyRunFestival (@officialbsrf) September 17, 2017
No Japanese women made the podium in the marathon, but in the accompanying half marathon both the men's and women's races saw Japanese runners-up. In the men's …

Ayuko Suzuki Leaves for Altitude Training in Boulder Motivated for the Marathon

2017 London World Championships 5000 m and 10000 m runner Ayuko Suzuki (25, Japan Post) left from Narita Airport on Sept. 18 for altitude training in Boulder, Colorado.

Two days earlier at a half marathon in Czech Republic, Yuta Shitara (25, Honda), like Suzuki born in 1991, broke the 10-year-old Japanese men's half marathon national record in a time of 1:00:17. "It's a big motivation to see an athlete the same age as me doing something like that," she said. Showing her determination to be one of her generation's leaders, she added, "I'll be 28 [at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics], right in my prime mentally and physically. I want to run big too."

In the leadup to the Tokyo Olympics Suzuki has the marathon in sight along with the track. "I need to run a half marathon and marathon somewhere once to check [how well they suit me]," she said. "Coach and I will be talking about it." If everything goes according to plan, December's Sanyo …