BERLIN – He’s wanted to run a beautiful race. He’s wanted to run his best race. On Sunday. Eliud Kipchoge ran the best race. The Kenyan Olympic champion broke the marathon world record at the Berlin Marathon with his 2:01:39 victory. His time shaved 77 seconds off the previous mark, which was held by his compatriot Dennis Kimetto in 2014.
When he crossed 5K in 14:24 or hit 10K in 29:21, we never thought it was crazy. Aggressive? Yes. Sustainable? Only for Eliud.
By the time he rolled through 15K in 43:38 and had two of his pacers drop out, it was clear that his biggest test would be doing most of this alone. Josphat Boit stayed with him through 25K but then it was on Eliud for the final 17K.
And he quickened.
Kipchoge hit 35K in 1:41, which was a good time to start updating his Wikipedia page to “World Record Holder.” At 40K in 1:55:32, you publish those changes.
We saw the smiles through the pain but for the first time, we saw more. Eliud was elated.
He crossed the finish line and charged to his coach, Patrick Sang. The moment he’d dreamed of for years had finally come true.
“I had to focus on the work I had put in in Kenya and that is what helped push me. I’m really grateful to my coaching team, my management, the organization.”
“I’ve run 2:00. I have run 2:01. The next is actually to run 2:02 so I have 2:00, 2:01, 2:02, 2:03, 2:04 and 2:05.”