Distance Running: Kenyan Kipchoge Breaks World Record

BERLIN: Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge with an extraordinary display of distance running, won the IAAF Gold Label road race and broke the world record with a record time of 2:01:39*, at the BMW Berlin Marathon on Sunday – 16th September 2018.

From the beginning of the race, the 33-year-old Kenyan had just a very few runners accompanying as they went through 5 and 10 kilometres marks in 14:24 and 29:21 respectively. However, after the 15 kilometres mark was crossed which in 43:38, two of the three runners could not continue and thus withdrew from the marathon.

Josphat Boit, who was ahead of Kipchoge, and among the final runners, at the half-way point which was timed in 1:01:06, dropped out when the race had completed 25 kilometres, which was covered in 1:12:24.

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After 25 kilometres, the Kenyan was the sole runner with 17 kilometres remaining till the finishing line. At this junction Kipchoge increased his pace and passed the 35-kilometre point a bit outside of the time 1:41:00, from which it seemed that the finishing time within 2:02 would be possible. The new world record seemed imminent as the 40 kilometres mark was reached in 1:55:32.

Kipchoge maintained his form well in the closing stages and finally, what was expected happened – the finish line was crossed in 2:01:39, and thereby, one minute and 18 seconds was taken off the previous world record, which was set by Dennis Kimetto, four years ago.

In terms of time difference, the world record broken by Kipchoge was the largest single improvement on the marathon world record since 1967, when Derek Clayton improved the mark by two minutes and 23 seconds.

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Commenting on his achievement, Kipchoge said “I lack the words to describe how I feel, It was really hard [during the last 17 kilometres] but I was truly prepared to run my own race. I had to focus on the work I had put in in Kenya and that is what helped push me. I’m really grateful to my coaching team, my management, the organisation.”

The other positions cum runners in the race were:

2nd position was of Amos Kipruto who timed 2:06:23.
3rd was the former world record-holder Wilson Kipsang who finished the race in 2:06:48.

The Women title also went to a Kenyan, Gladys Cherono who completed the course in record of 2:18:11. She was also a 2015 and 2017 Berlin race winner.

The other position in women category were won by:

2nd position was won by Aga who finished 23 seconds later in 2:18:34.
3rd was Dibaba who crossed the line in 2:18:55 time.

2018 Berlin race was historical for the women category as it was the first time that three women finished inside 2:19.

*Finalization subject to IAAF usual ratification procedure

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