Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge has set a new world record at the Berlin Marathon on Sunday, shaving more than a minute of the previous best with a dazzling run, to land the one major running accomplishment that had eluded him.
Fellow Kenyan Gladys Cherono won the women's race with a course record and best time of the year of 2:18:10, leaving Ethiopians Ruti Aga and pre-race favourite Tirunesh Dibaba in second and third place respectively.
The legendary Kipchoge, who won in Berlin in 2015, defeated Amos Kipruto who finished the race in 2:06:20. AK described Kipchoge as "Superhuman" for his record-smashing feat.
You'd have to go back 50-years to find a single bigger world record leap than Kipchoge's this weekend. By 40 kilometrers, reached in 1:55:32, a world record looked a certainty.
With his 1:18 demolition of the previous record on Sunday- almost three seconds faster per mile than Kimetto's mark- Kipchoge has now reached a summit that seems befitting of a man who has rarely been challenged in the event. "That's what pushed me in the last kilometres", Kipchoge said, adding that he could have gone even faster had the pacemakers stayed with him up to the 30-km mark.
New York Times in a publication on Kipchoge wrote: "Elite distance runners generally run no more than two marathons each year".
He kept injecting the pace and by the 30km mark, he was a massive 52 seconds inside World Record pace having covered the distance in a time of 1:26:45.
He accelerated over the final two kilometres and with his eyes on the finishing line shone the crowd with his infectious smile, striding to cut the tape in a new record time, by a whooping one minute and 18 seconds. Ironically, it took a world record setting run by Kipsang in 2013 in Berlin to beat Kipchoge in what was just his second marathon since moving from the track.
"I've run 2:00. I have run 2:01".
While he certainly benefitted greatly then from a highly controlled environment that featured constant pacing and absolutely ideal conditions- elements that made the run unofficial for record purposes- the time still showed that Kipchoge was a man among boys in the marathon.
"It was hard. I ran my own race, I trusted my trainers, my programme and my coach".
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