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26-Year-Old Breaks Women’s Marathon World Record by Over 2 Minutes

Holy wow.

Tigist Assefa runningTigist Assefa on her way to a smoking world record finish at the Berlin Marathon; (SCC EVENTS/Petko Beier)
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There’s breaking records, and then there’s flinging records off a 100-story building and watching them smash into a gazillion pieces.

Ethiopian runner Tigist Assefa did the latter over the weekend at the 2023 Berlin Marathon by snapping an incredible 2 minutes and change off the previous women’s marathon record. The runner crossed the finish line at 2:11:53, stealing the top spot from Brigid Kosgei, who turned in a 2:14:04 time in Chicago in 2019.

“It’s the result of hard work which I’ve put in over the last year,” Assefa told Berlin Marathon organizers. “I didn’t expect to break the record by such a margin, but I did think I could break it.”

And break it she did, with plenty of gas left in the tank, apparently. Check out the moment she crosses the finish line, looking incredibly strong for someone who just ripped 5-minute miles for 26 straight miles.

As the Guardian reported, Assefa was already on world-record pace at the 13.1-mile mark, with a halfway time of 1:06:20. But she stepped on the gas pedal in the second half, leaving the field behind with only her pacers for company.

Newcomer to Marathon Distance Holds Nothing Back

A relative newcomer to the marathon distance (as a former 800m runner), Assefa was a surprise winner of last year’s Berlin Marathon. But she’s well on the radar now. And with the summer Olympics right around the corner, it’s safe to say we’ll be seeing more of her shortly.

“As for being a favorite for the Olympic Marathon next year, it is up to the National Committee to select me for the team,” Assefa said.

And for any footwear fanatics, the Guardian noted that Assefa was sporting the adidas Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1s, which the brand claims is “optimized to improve running economy and provide runners with greater energy return.”

How close will that get you to Assefa’s time? You can find out for yourself on Tuesday when the shoes launch — with a $500 MSRP.


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