Double Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge broke his own world record by 30 seconds in the Berlin Marathon on Sunday (September 25).
The Kenyan star finished the race in two hours, one minute and nine seconds to beat his previous best, recorded on the same course in 2018.
The 37-year-old started at a blistering pace, covering the first 10km in 28:23 and recording 59:51 at the halfway point amid the cold and windless weather, ideal for distance running on Berlin’s flat route.
He told Associated Press: “My legs and my body still feel young. But the most essential thing is my mind, which likewise feels young and new.
“I’m overjoyed to have broken the world record.”
First person to complete 26.2-mile under two hours
In 2019, he was the first person to complete the 26.2-mile marathon distance in Vienna in under two hours.
However, because the event was designed specifically for Kipchoge and included many pacemakers, it did not count as an official marathon race record.
His fellow countryman Mark Korir finished second, nearly five minutes back, with Ethiopia’s Tadu Abate third.
Asked whether he would attempt a sub-two hour run in Berlin next year, Kipchoge said: "Let us plan for another day.
“I need to celebrate this record and have to realise what happens. Just roll and see what happens.”
Kipchoge has now won 15 of the 17 official marathons he has run. He is also one of only three men to defend an Olympic marathon title, along with the barefoot Ethiopian Abebe Bikila in 1960 and 1964 and the East German Waldemar Cierpinski in 1976 and 1980.
Before that, he was the 5,000m world champion in 2003, and in 2004 and 2008, he won bronze and silver in the 5,000m at the Olympics.
Tigist Assefa finishes in 2 hours, 15 minutes
Tigist Assefa of Ethiopia won the women’s race in a track record time of 2:15:37, which was 18 minutes faster than her personal best and the third-fastest time ever.
The 28-year-old feat was all the more astounding given that she had only done one marathon previously, in two hours 34 minutes, albeit she had run a half marathon in a respectable 67:28.
Assefa, who competed in the 800m at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, was also the first woman in history to break two minutes in the 800m and 2:20 in the marathon.
Sunday’s event, the first unrestricted race since the pandemic, was attended by almost 45,000 participants from 157 countries.