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.
Kipchoge, 33, is the reigning Olympic champion in the marathon and has run the fastest recorded time over 26.2 miles-a blistering 2 hours and 25 seconds- as part of a Nike-sponsored marketing event a year ago that wasn't a ratified race.
On the roads he has been nearly unstoppable, winning 10 of 11 races over 26.2 miles, including Olympic gold in Rio de Janeiro and three London marathon titles. He hit the 35K mark in 1:41:02 and started to get close to the 2:02 barrier. "I am just so incredibly happy to have finally run the world record as I never stopped having belief in myself".
Gladys Cherono won the women's race in 2:18:11, a women's record for the Berlin Marathon.
"I lack words to describe this day", Kipchoge said with a smile after the race.
The Kenyan flag was associated with gold at the 2018 edition of the Berlin Marathon that took place on September 16. It certainly will go down as one of greatest spectacles the sport of running has ever seen, and will likely be a record that will stand for many years to come in the marathon.
"They say you can miss it twice but not third time, so I want to thank everyone who has helped me". By 40 kilometrers, reached in 1:55:32, a world record looked a certainty.
But even after the last one peeled off after 25-kilometres, Kipchoge showed no sign of slowing, passing the 30km mark in 1:26:45, with a pace of 2:52 per 1,000-metres.
But the race conditions at the Nike-sponsored event were so favorable - Kipchoge ran behind a six-man pace-setting team and was trailed by a time-keeping vehicle on a racing circuit in Monza, Italy - that the time was not recognized by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
Kipchoge came agonizingly close to sporting immortality by almost running the first sub two-hour marathon a year ago.
Berlin debutant Amos Kipruto came second in 2 hours, 6 minutes and 23 seconds, followed by a third Kenyan, former world-record holder Wilson Kipsang, who was 25 seconds behind.
"I've run 2:00. I have run 2:01".
He added: "I ran my own race, I trusted my trainers, my programme and my coach - that's what pushed me in the last kilometres".