Berlin, September 16: In a stunning display of distance running, Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge broke the world record at the BMW Berlin Marathon on Sunday (September 16), winning the IAAF Gold Label road race in 2:01:39.
From the early stages of the race, the 33-year-old Kenyan had just a handful of pacemakers for company as they passed through five kilometres in 14:24 and 10 kilometres in 29:21. But shortly after 15 kilometres, which was reached in 43:38, two of the three pacemakers were unable to continue and withdrew from the race.
BREAKING: Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge has broken the world marathon record by over a minute with a time of two hours, one minute and 40 seconds in winning the Berlin Marathon. pic.twitter.com/Og88L0u6Av— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) September 16, 2018
The final pacemaker, Josphat Boit, led Kipchoge through the half-way point in 1:01:06 before dropping out at 25 kilometres, covered in 1:12:24.
Running alone with 17 kilometres left, Kipchoge then sped up. He passed the 35-kilometre checkpoint just a shade outside 1:41:00, suggesting a finishing time inside 2:02 was possible. By 40 kilometres, reached in 1:55:32, a world record looked a certainty.
Kipchoge maintained his form well in the closing stages and crossed the finish line in 2:01:39, taking one minute and 18 seconds off the previous world record set four years ago by Dennis Kimetto. It is the largest single improvement on the marathon world record since Derek Clayton improved the mark by two minutes and 23 seconds in 1967.
2:01:40— SPIKES (@spikesmag) September 16, 2018
world record holder pic.twitter.com/N6Udf4BjQr
"I lack the words to describe how I feel," said Kipchoge. "It was really hard [during the last 17 kilometres] but I was truly prepared to run my own race. I had to focus on the work I had put in in Kenya and that is what helped push me. I’m really grateful to my coaching team, my management, the organisation."
Source: IAAF Release