Kenyan Kipchoge shatters marathon world record in Berlin

Eliud Kipchoge resets the marathon world record by over a minute in Berlin.

He broke the previous world record set in Berlin by Kenyan Dennis Kimetto in 2014 by 1 minute and 18 seconds an improvement that had not been witnessed in fifty years. While trying to shatter the two-hour marathon barrier, Nike devised a plan for Kipchoge to race under optimal conditions where temperatures were almost ideal for the Formula 1 track in Monza, Italy and he could be assisted by an alternating cast of pacers almost every step of the way. Usually stoic and reserved, he pumped his arms and crossed the finish line in 2:01:40 to cut one minute and 17 seconds off Kimetto's record. But he had done most of his talking already, on the streets of the German capital, setting off with just three pacemakers for company, and going through halfway in 61 minutes and six seconds before - incredibly - speeding up to run the second half in 60:33.

Kipchoge became the new world record holder after running 2:01:39 to establish himself as one of the best distance runners in history.

"I lack the words to describe how I feel", said Kipchoge, whose winning margin over Amos Kipruto in second place was nearly five minutes. As he he's done in his other major victories, Kipchoge smiled through any signs of pain by the time he hit 40K in 1:55:32.

"They say you can miss it twice but not a third time".

Elite runners Wilson Kipsang (R) and Eliud Kipchoge (3L) with pacers at the start of Berlin marathon.

The previous track record was set by Mizuki Noguchi of Japan 13 years ago.

With rolling pacers, Kipchoge ran 2:00:26, but the run isn't considered a world record because of the controlled conditions.

There was a Kenyan double as Gladys Cherono ran 2:18:11, a course record and world leading time, to win the women's race. On the roads he has been nearly unstoppable, winning 10 of 11 races over 26.2 miles, including Olympic gold in Rio de Janeiro and three London marathon titles.

  • Rogelio Becker