Marathon olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge stormed to his next world record in Berlin. The 37-year-old Kenyan ran the 42.195 kilometers on Sunday in 2:01:09 hours. Kipchoge set the previous record in 2018 at the same place in 2:01:39 hours. At first it even looked as if he could be the first in an official race to undercut the two-hour mark.
Three years ago, the two-time Olympic champion in Vienna was the first person to stay under two hours over the classic distance. However, since this run was not public and took place under laboratory conditions, the time of 1:59:40 hours is not considered world record.
Favorable conditions for Kipchoge
After some rain during the night, the external conditions at the start at 9.15 am were very favorable for a fast race with cloudy skies, mild temperatures and hardly any wind. Led by his pacemakers, Kipchoge set a world record from the start and was 40 seconds below the previous record after a third of the distance. Only the Ethiopian outsider Andamlak Belihu was able to follow, last year’s winner Guye Adola – also from Ethiopia – not.
The leading duo passed the half-marathon mark behind the pacemakers after an almost unbelievable 59:51 minutes. The last helper got out a little later, after a good 25 kilometers Kipchoge broke away from Belihu and from then on only ran against the clock as a soloist. He couldn’t quite keep up the pace of the first half in front of hundreds of thousands of spectators along the route, but he still beat the previous world record by half a minute.
For Kipchoge it was the fourth success at the Berlin marathon, so he is now together with the Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie Record winner at the largest German city run. Gebrselassie won there from 2006 to 2009 and also ran two world records.
A total of around 45,000 runners had registered for the race through downtown Berlin.