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Eliud Kipchoge shatters Marathon World Record

Eliud Kipchoge wins the Berlin Marathon
  • Kipchoge has become the second man in history to win the Berlin Marathon four times
  • He has broken the record, lowering his own mark by 30 seconds
  • Kenya’s Rosemary Wanjiru was second in the women’s race

Eliud Kipchoge shaved 30 seconds off his initial mark, as he ran 2:01:09 to win the Berlin Marathon title on Sunday. Kicphoge ran a blistering first half of the race to set himself within his world record of 2:01:39 set on the same streets in 2018.

“I was planning to go for around 60:50 or 60:40 but my legs were running fast and I thought oh okay let me try to run two hours flat. But all in all I am happy with the performance,”Kipchoge said in the post-race interview.

He added; “It was tough in the second half of the race because in the first half it was very fast. We went too fast and it takes energy from the muscle.”

Kipchoge had a blistering start to the race and covered the first 5km in 14:14, a clear testament that he was headed for a World Record. At 10km, he had gone through at 28:23 with only defending champion Guye Adola and compatriot Andamlak Belihu on his wings.

Adola started peeling off

Eliud Kipchoge competing at the Berlin Marathon. PHOTO/NN Running

But, Adola started to fall off as they approached the 15km mark, clearly struggling with the blistering pace that the race had started in. Belihu who was making his debut in Berlin chose to stick by Kipchoge’s shadow as he sought to benefit from the fast start.

Kipchoge maintained that pace through half way, which was reached in 59:50, a blistering start and far much faster than he had asked for in his pre-race pacing notes. He had required them to pass the halfway mark at 60:50 which was way faster than his world record run in the same course four years ago.

But after this when the pace setters dropped off, the pace started to drop as he looked to maintain a positive tempo, without necessarily moving his eyes from the world record target. By 25km (1:11:08) his projected finish had slipped to just outside two hours – still more than a minute inside world record pace, though.

Ethiopia’s Belihu was just about staying level with Kipchoge up until this point, but the Kenyan superstar then gradually pulled clear and was out on his own.

Comfortably within World Record time 

Eliud Kipchoge competes at the Berlin Marathon. PHOTO/NN Running

He passed through 30km in 1:25:40, then reached 35km in 1:40:10. By the time he passed through 40km in 1:54:53, his lead had grown to move than four minutes with compatriot Mark Korir having moved into second place.

He kept his fight, but the signs on his face and body were clearly one of a man struggling to get to the line, but with Kipchoge, he turned it into fodder for his muscles to grind through the line, doing so in World Record time.

Meanwhile in the women’s race, Rosemary Wanjiru, on her debut, ran a new personal best time of 2:18:00 to finish second behind Ethiopia’s Tigist Assefa who ran the third quickest time in history.

The Ethiopian clocked 2:15:37 to win the title.

The other Kenyan in the race, Vibian Chepkirui finished a distant 10th, having led for most part of the opening exchanges of the race before fading away.

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