Two times Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge has set a new world record at 2:01:09 on his way to winning the Berlin Marathon for the fourth time. Kipchoge slashed 30 seconds from his previous world record of 2:01:39.
The 37-year old experienced marathoner employed a different strategy to that which propelled him to victory in 2018, where he run at a steady pace in the first half of the race. In contrast, he run the first 22km in under 59:51 minutes keeping him on track to beat the two-hour mark barrier.
From the 30Km mark, Kipchoge run all by himself with Ethiopia’s Andamlak Belihu as the closest opponent.
His pace dropped in the second half of the race, making the two-hour mark barrier impossible to beat but he was able to set a new world record.
He previously won in 2015, 2017, and 2018 editions of the Berlin marathon and placed second in the 2013 edition.
Kipchoge returned to the Berlin Marathon, where he set the previous world record of 2:01:39 in September 2018. He broke Dennis Kimeto’s world record set in 2014 slashing 1:18 minutes.
In 2019, Kipchoge became the first person to run the marathon in under two hours, with an unofficial time of 1:59:40 in Vienna, Austria.
Kipchoge has 19 marathon starts and recorded 76 wins with just two losses at the 2013 Berlin Marathon (he finished second to Wilson Kipsang, who set a then-world record) and the 2020 London Marathon (he was eighth).
He has won four world marathon majors (London, Chicago, Berlin, and Tokyo) with course records at London, Berlin, and Tokyo and two Olympic titles (Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020).
#EliudKipchoge @kipchogeEliud #berlinMarathan2022
The great Eliud Kipchoge shattered his own world record to win the 2022 BMW BERLIN-MARATHON in an astonishing 2:01:09.
The Kenyan set a searing pace in the first half of the race, clocking 59:51 at halfway to put him on course for an improbable sub-two-hour time in an official race.
His final pacemaker departed at 25km and it was left to the double Olympic champion to keep the speed as high as possible as he chased another slice of history on the streets of the German capital.
Staying on course to break two hours was never likely, but as the kilometers ticked by it was becoming increasingly evident that Kipchoge’s existing record of 2:01:39 was about to be consigned to the trash can.
It was only in the final 5km that the chances of sub 2:01 began to fade, but when he stopped the clock in a barely believable 2:01:09, the crowd erupted on the side of the road having witnessed the greatest marathon runner of all time axe 30 seconds off the record.
“I am so happy to break the world record in Berlin,” said the 37-year-old. “I planned to go out fast in the first half and I always said I would be happy to run a course record. If that translated to a world record, so be it.”
Mark Korir took second place in 2:05:58 with Tadu Abate third in 2:06:28.
The records were not finished with either.
A blistering women’s elite race ended with Ethiopia’s Tigist Assefa shattering the Berlin course record with a time of 2:15:37 to run the third fastest time in the history of women’s marathon running.
Her previous best over the distance was 2:34:01 set in Riyadh in March of this year.
Assefa was trailed home by Kenya’s Rosemary Wanjiru in 2:18:00 – also under the old course record, and Ethiopian, Tigist Abayechew in 2:18:03.
“I wasn’t afraid of my rivals, even thought they had faster times than me,” said Assefa, who takes her place on the all-time list behind Brigid Kosgei and Paula Radcliffe.
Kipchoge repeated his mantra that he will “only chase one rabbit at a time” following this history-making run, but has already declared his desire to become the first man to win all six Abbott World Marathon Majors races.
On this evidence, that is an entirely realistic prospect.