NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 24 – Despite missing the World Record in his Berlin Marathon win on Sunday, Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge is upbeat he will obliterate the Dennis Kimetto fastest ever time of 2:02:57 one day.
It was described as a lifetime race that threatened the World Record going by the high pedigree of marathoners in the race that included the second fasted man in the distance Kenenisa Bekele and former record holder Wilson Kipsang.
However, the race did not go as expected with Bekele and Kipsang dropping out halfway to leave a two horse race between experienced Kipchoge and debutant Guye Adola who ran a race of his life to finish second.
Despite reaching half way in 1:01:29, exactly on schedule to break Kimetto’s World Record, Kipchoge could not match the pace due to the harsh rainy conditions, going on to clock 2:03:32 and reclaim the title he won two years ago.
“This was my hardest race ever in my career because of the conditions. It rained very, very heavy. It was still the hardest because the ground was very slippery,” Kipchoge, 32, said after the race.
When asked if he would one day hold the official World Record, Kipchoge responded emphatically, saying, “Absolutely. I still have a world record in my legs.”
Adola, who finished second in his personal best of 2:03:46, gave Kipchoge a scare and the Kenyan star admitted he was surprised when the Ethiopian took the lead.
“It was a big surprise and I had to concentrate fully on finishing effort and closing the gap. I am happy to win in these conditions. My mind was to run at least the world record but I can say it is sport and tomorrow is a new day,” Kipchoge said.
World Record chances looked good in the early stages of the race as the leaders passed 5km in 14:28 and hit 10k in 29:04 — 2:02:38 marathon pace but they would slow to 14:40 for the next 5km split – world record pace is 14:34.2 per 5k – and at 15k (43:44) the leaders were actually behind WR pace, on track for a 2:03:01 marathon.
Kipchoge still remains the greatest marathoner having collected his eighth victory from the nine marathons he has contested to date (not including his unratifiable run at the experimental event in Monza).