The performance of Dennis Kimetto, 30, on September 28 in the streets of Berlin where he stopped the clock at an astonishing 2:02:57 without doubt stole the thunder in what world governing body IAAF’s official review into 2014 road running has dubbed “the best marathon year until now in terms of results.”
With a previous personal best 2:03:45 from a victorious run in the 2013 Chicago Marathon, Kimetto chopped 26 seconds off compatriot Wilson Kipsang’s mark of 2:03:23 a year earlier at the same course.
It is the first sub-2:03 result in any marathon, aided or not with the fastest prior to his performance being the 2:03:02 by Geoffrey Mutai in Boston 2011 although the course elevation drop ruled it out as an official world record.
Incidentally, Kimetto, Kipsang and Mutai are stable mates at Volare Sports, the stable run by Dutch manager, Gerrard Van Der Veen.
In Berlin, Emmanuel Mutai, clocked the second fastest non-aided result ever with 2:03:13 for the second place and ran a world record for 30km of 1:27:37 as an intermediate split, the huge consolation for a runner who stretched his astounding sequence of second place finishes at World Marathon Majors events to seven.
The Chicago Marathon was the second fastest race of the year. The winner there, Eliud Kipchoge, was also the only athlete to win two major ‘big city’ races in 2014.
The 30-year-old Kenyan clocked 2:05:00 to win the Rotterdam Marathon in April and then followed that up with an even faster 2:04:11 to win in Chicago, just six seconds off his best of 2:04:05 from Berlin 2013.
The fourth fastest time of the year was Sammy Kitwara’s 2:04:28 for the second place in Chicago while the previous world record-holder Kipsang completed a total dominance of the top five places in the 2014 world list for Kenya.
The 32-year-old won in London in April clocking 2:04:29 although he was caught up in a storm this month when Athletics Kenya (AK) released details of a missed out of competition drug test that saw him get off with an IAAF notification with no further sanctions.
Kipsang read AK’s move as a witch hunt, saying it was a dig at his position as the chairman of the Professional Athletes Association of Kenya chairman that has been at the forefront of agitating for a regime change at the helm of the federation.
-Material from iaaf.org used to compile this report