eliud kipchoge
On Sept. 25, Eliud Kipchoge broke his own marathon world record, which he set in 2018 in Berlin (seen here); (photo/photocosmos1 via Shutterstock)

Marathon Record: Kipchoge Breaks Own Fastest Time

Perennial marathon favorite Eliud Kipchoge set another world record at Sunday’s BMW Berlin Marathon. He inched closer to an official sub-2-hour time.

Eliud Kipchoge must look forward to the Berlin Marathon each year. It now seems like he wins the race every time he runs it, and he’s set two world records there in the last 4 years.

At Sunday’s race, the Kenyan broke his own existing mark. Kipchoge finished in 2:01:09 to set a new marathon world record. He beat his 2018 benchmark by 30 seconds, a 2:01:39 he ran at the 2018 Berlin Marathon.

On the women’s side, Ethiopia’s Tigist Assefa set a course record at 2:15.37 and ran the third-fastest time in women’s marathon history.

But it was the Kipchoge show in Berlin. The win was the Kenyan’s fourth career gold on the circuit, which matches Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie’s all-time course record, according to the BBC.

Eliud Kipchoge Marathon Record

Kipchoge credited the win to the people who support him.

“I am happy with my preparation and I think I was so fast because of the teamwork. Everything is down to teamwork,” he told the BBC. “What motivates me is my family and I want to inspire young people. Sport unites people and that is what motivates me.”

No one except Andamlak Belihu remotely paced Kipchoge, the outlet said, but the tight race between the two at the top didn’t last as the Ethiopian lost Kipchoge around 17 miles in.

Fellow Kenyan runner Mark Korir finished second, 4:49 behind Kipchoge, and Ethiopian Tadu Abate took third.

Kipchoge’s competitive career has proven massively successful. He’s won 15 of the 17 marathons he’s entered, and has reigned as the Olympic marathon champion since 2016. It could appear that all that remains for him is to officially break the storied 2-hour threshold.

It looked like he’d done just that in 2019, when he ran a 1:59:40.2 in Vienna, Austria. However, officials didn’t validate the race for record consideration because of its open competition format and Kipchoge’s choice to use rotating pacemakers, the BBC said.

Eliud Kipchoge marathon record
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If anything, though, Sunday’s Berlin Marathon made it look like Kipchoge might break the barrier as a matter of record, as he ran a 59:51 through the halfway mark, according to the BBC.

Asked whether he would try it at next year’s Berlin race, Kipchoge downplayed the idea.

“Let us plan for another day,” he said, per the BBC. “I will celebrate this record and have to realize what happens. Just roll and see what happens.”

Sam Anderson

Sam has roamed the American continent to follow adventures, explore natural wonders, and find good stories. After going to college to be a writer, he got distracted (or saved) by rock climbing and spent most of the next decade on the road, supporting himself with trade work. He's had addresses in the Adirondack Mountains, Las Vegas, and somehow Kansas, but his heart belongs in the Texas hill country.