NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 16 – Eliud Kipchoge ran the race of his life on Sunday morning smashing Dennis Kimetto’s four-year old World Record enroute to winning the Berlin Marathon running in a time of 2:01:39.
Meanwhile, Gladys Cherono completed a golden Kenyan double in the streets of Berlin, successfully defending her crown in a new course record time of 2:18:11
Cherono withstood the challenge of the Ethiopian duo of Ruti Aga and Tirunesh Dibaba to strike her third Berlin crown having also won it in 2015 but missed the 2016 showpiece due to injury.
Aga came second in 2:18:34 while Dibaba was third crossing the line in 2:18:55.
Kenya’s Edna Kiplagat finished fourth in a time of 2:21:18 and made history of her own by becoming the first female athlete to run in all World Marathon Majors and finishing within the top six in all.
But the toast of the day belonged to Eliud, arguably the best marathoner to ever grace the sport.
“I had great belief that I would run a World Record but I dint know I would run 2:01. That’s what I believed (breaking World Record) and I am happy for it.”
“It wasn’t a plan (running without pacemakers) because I thought I would go with them up to to 30km but it was unfortunate. But, I had the belief and I was really ready for Berlin I had to push on my own,” the ecstatic Kipchoge said after the historic feat.
He added jokingly; “What next for me now is that I have run 2:00, now 2: 01, next is to run 2:02, so that I have all the times.. in my arms.”
The Olympic champion led a Kenyan 1-2-3 podium sweep, youngster Amos Kipruto coming second on his 26th birthday in a time of 2:06:24 while former World Record holder Wilson Kipsang finished third in 2:06:48.
Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge celebrates with the clock after setting a new world record on September 16, 2018 in Berlin.An ecstatic Kipchoge cut the tape with glee and excitement written all over his face, thumping his chest with both arms and letting out a scream that told just half the story of how much the record meant for him.
Kipchoge ran virtually half the race alone after dropping the last pacemaker Josephat Bout at the 25km mark having taken him through in 1:12:24 which was 36 seconds within World Record pace.
His face never showed any signs of fatigue or worry and by the Half Marathon point, he had run in 1:00: 46.
If it was expected that Kipchoge would be slowing down as the race progressed, then ‘the great philosopher’ went exactly the opposite direction.
He kept injecting the pace and by the 30km mark, he was a massive 52 seconds inside World Record pace having covered the distance in a time of 1:26:45.
His split of 14:21 between the 25km and 30km mark was the fastest ever recorded in a Marathon, breaking his own previous mark set at the London Marathon in 2016 where he came close to breaking the record.
Then, he had covered the same distance in 1:27:13.
As the race progressed, it was now never a question of if, but when he would be breaking the World Record.
This was going to be the seventh time that the record was falling in Berlin over the last 15 years.
With two kilometres to go, it was now evident, Kimetto’s record was going to fall.
A resilient Kipchoge had covered 40km in a time of 1:56:32, a whooping 57 seconds of the record and still brandishing his trademark smile.
He accelerated over the final two kilometres and with his eyes on the finishing line, shone into the cheering crowd with his infectious smile, striding to cut the tape in a new record time, by a whooping one minute and 18 seconds.
While Kipchoge savored his victory, Kipruto who was celebrating his 26th birthday held his own to come in for second while Kipsang who dropped out of the race last year finished third.