Berlin Marathon: The world record smashed

Berlin Marathon: The world record smashed
  • At the Berlin Marathon, 33-year-old Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge sets a new world record.
  • His 2.01: 39 hours are the first time under 2:02 hours – and a huge increase of the previous record.
  • Kipchoge prepared for years on this world record.


By Fabian Dilger, Berlin

Eliud Kipchoge held himself remarkably happy while cheering, he was looking forward rather quietly, without much gestures, without puffing, knocking on his chest. When the 33-year-old marathon runner from Kenya reached the finish line with a new world record, he first clapped his hands over his face, sank to his knees, crossed himself, and then both thumbs went up. As if he had not realized the time he had laid. In 2:01:39 hours Kipchoge had set not only a new record – he had really shattered the old, that 2:02:57, which his compatriot Dennis Kimetto had also built in 2014 in Berlin.

After all, one saw the introverted Kipchoge the deep satisfaction with what has been achieved. Later, when he talked about the race, they saw a self-contained athlete with a big smile. A runner who had solidified his status as the best in his field, but always referred to others in his success. Time after time, Kipchoge said he was "grateful" – his team, his trainer Patrick Sang, whom he embraced just after the finish line, the spectators, the organizers. All that was missing was that he thanked his shoe soles for being steadfast this year.

Eliud Kipchoge runs marathon world record in Berlin

The Kenyan needs only 2:01:39 hours for the 42.195 kilometers. He improves the record of his compatriot Kimetto by more than a minute.

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Three years ago, right at the beginning of the Berlin Marathon, the soles of his shoes had come loose and slipped out – the world record already set for that time had vanished. In 2017, Kipchoge was unable to crack time again on the rain-soaked streets of Berlin. But this year everything finally fit.

Where the runners usually come to a deadlock, Kipchoge is the fastest

Kipchoge started right at the announced speed, always a few steps ahead of the old world record time. At the beginning, Wilson Kipsang, who finished third at the end, still had visual contact, but then Kipchoge ran his own race with his pace makers. "The pace forward was too fast for me today," said Kipsang later, after all, even world record holder. At kilometer 15, two of Kipchoge's trailblazers already climbed out, at kilometer 19 the last companion showed doggedness. The running speed was just too high. The half marathon mark passed Kipchoge after 61:06 minutes, world record course. "It was good to be halfway to the plan," said Kipchoge, "that's where marathon starts."

From kilometer 25 Kipchoge had to get along completely without pacemaker, but that was not bad, as he said afterwards. In any case, he revealed no problems, sovereign and almost untouched he trudged forward, kilometer after kilometer at a constant pace, without any dips or weaknesses. He ran his fastest five kilometers between the 30th and 35th, where the runners usually come to a deadlock and have to fight.

But even in the final stages of the race, Kipchoge seemed to effortlessly pass through, he ran smoothly through the Brandenburg Gate and even made another final spurt. He finally improved the world record by 1:18 minutes, for half a century the men's record has not been increased by such a large margin; He was the first to manage the 42.195 kilometers in less than 2:02 hours. This time is in its own league, disconnected from the rest of the world.

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