Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge broke his own world record, lowering the mark to 2:01:09, as he powered to victory at the Berlin Marathon on Sunday.
Shaving 30 seconds off the record he set at the same event four years ago, Kipchoge set a pace that no one could match over the entire 26.2 miles and secured his 15th career marathon win out of just 17 starts.
Ethiopia’s Andamlak Belihu and defending champion Guye Adola stayed with the 37-year-old for the first half of the race but dropped away as Kipchoge pressed on for victory and eventually crossed the finish line opposite the Brandenburg Gate alone.
Double Olympic champion Kipchoge became the first athlete to run a marathon distance in under two hours in Vienna in 2019 but this was not recognized as an official world record since it was set with a team of rotating pacemakers and not in open competition.
For this official record, Kipchoge started fast, setting a 10km time split of just 28min 23sec and reaching the halfway mark in under an hour.
Adola matched him step for step throughout the opening ten kilometers but only Belihu could remain with Kipchoge as the race crossed halfway.
After 25km, Kipchoge began to pull away from Belihu too, and though his blistering pace slowed slightly, he remained comfortably ahead of the world record all the way to the line.
His compatriot Mark Korir finished more than four minutes afterwards, in 2:05:58, to take second place while Ethiopia’s Tadu Abate completed the podium with a time of 2:06:28.
In the women’s race, Ethiopia’s Tigist Assefa set a course record and took the win in 2:15:37, the third fastest time in history and 18 minutes faster than her previous personal best.
Starting just her second marathon after making the switch from the 800m, Assefa ran 1:08:13 to remain with the pack for the first half of the race, before she recorded a negative split of 1:07:25 to distance the rest of the field.
Rosemary Wanjiru of Kenya finished second with a time of 2:18:00, while Ethiopia’s Tigist Abayechew finished three seconds later in third place.