Will we one day see a man run the marathon – the emblematic test of athletics – below the symbolic bar of two hours? To this question, the Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge has provided new answers by improving his own world record during the Berlin marathon, this Sunday, September 25. The runner completed the 42.195 km German event in two hours, one minute and nine seconds, where the relatively flat route has always served as a hunting ground for records, seven times erased for men in the 21ste century. This is thirty seconds better than when he last participated, in 2018.
— the chain L’Équipe (@lachainelequipe) September 25, 2022
Taking advantage of dry weather, a dozen degrees and the absence of wind, the soon-to-be 38-year-old double Olympic champion had even started on an even higher footing when he passed halfway in less than ‘one o’clock. But he was unable to repeat his 2019 feat in Vienna (Austria), where his time of less than two hours (1 h 59 min 41 s) – not approved – had been made possible by special conditions, a team of runners taking turns in front of him to facilitate his effort during an event entirely focused on this objective.
Record wins in Berlin
Before the Berlin Marathon, Kipchoge had himself minimized his chances of going below this threshold. “I’m not going to run under two hours in Berlin, I’m just going to have a good race”, he announced at a press conference. The Kenyan also took advantage of the absence of his Ethiopian rival Kenenisa Bekele to match the victory record of Ethiopian Haile Gebreselassie, four times winner in Berlin. His compatriot Mark Korir and Ethiopian Tadu Abate complete the men’s podium.
The women’s race was won by Ethiopia’s Tigist Assefa in the third best time in history (2:15:37), while American Keira D’Amato, who broke the United States record in last January (2 h 19 min 12 s) in Houston after seven years of absence, ranked in sixth place.