Eliud Kipchoge takes 30 seconds less than his men’s marathon world record in Berlin | Marathon
Eliud Kipchoge has brushed the line between recklessness and genius as he smashed his own 30-second marathon world record with another extraordinary display in Berlin.
The two-time Olympic champion looked as serene as can be after 26.2 miles of hard work, crossing the line in 2h 1m 9s to surpass his best set of four ago year. For good measure, the 37-year-old Kenyan also beat second-placed Mark Korir by nearly five minutes.
Yet at one point Kipchoge, who was wearing a bib that read “Impossible is nothing”, looked set to go even faster as he covered the first 10km of the race in just 28min 23sec – a time which would have placed him 18th. of 25 athletes in the men’s Olympic 10,000m final in Tokyo – before going halfway in 59.51.
No one has ever run 13.1 miles that fast in a marathon, and some onlookers feared that trying to run an official under-two marathon Kipchoge might explode. Yet, although he slowed down slightly once his pacemakers gave out, it wasn’t until the final stages of the race that the blistering pace at the start revealed it.
With four miles remaining, he was still more than a minute ahead of his previous world record, but that was reduced to 30 seconds when he passed the Brandenburg Gate and crossed the line. Even so, it was still an amazing performance from an amazing athlete.
Then a delighted Kipchoge said: “No limitations, after 38 km I knew I would be able to break the world record. The circumstances were excellent, as was the organization of the event. When asked if he would attempt a sub-two hour run in Berlin next year, Kipchoge replied: “Let’s plan another day. I will celebrate this record and I have to realize what is happening. Just roll and see what happens.
Not only has Kipchoge now won 15 of the 17 official marathons he has run, he is also one of three men to defend an Olympic marathon title, alongside barefoot Ethiopian Abebe Bikila in 1960 and 1964 and of East German Waldemar Cierpinski in 1976. and 1980.
Before that, he was also the 5000m world champion in 2003 and won Olympic bronze and silver in the 5000m in 2004 and 2008 respectively. In any discussion of who the greatest distance athlete of all time is, Kipchoge has to be in the conversation. Many would say he should lead it.
Kipchoge also, of course, has a marathon under two hours in Vienna in 2019 on his resume. However, that time of 1:59.40 did not count as an official record as it was aided by a phalanx of pacers who replaced ins and outs as well as other modifications not permitted by World Athletics rules.
Meanwhile, the women’s race was won by Ethiopia’s Tigist Assefa in 2:15:37, the third fastest time in history behind only Brigid Kosgei and Paula Radcliffe.
What made the 28-year-old’s performance more impressive was that she had only run one marathon before, in 2:34 hours, although she had run a half marathon in a respectable time. of 67:28.
Assefa, who ran the 800m at the Rio Olympics in 2016, also became the first woman in history to beat two minutes for the 800m and 2:20 for the marathon.