Eliud Kipchoge has smashed the world marathon record by more than a minute after he galloped to victory in the 2018 Berlin Marathon on Sunday in a winning time of two hours, one minute and 39 seconds.
The Kenyan runner successfully defended his title in Germany's capital and obliterated the old record, which was set by Dennis Kimetto in 2014, also in Berlin. Kipchoge took to Twitter to celebrate his triumph after beating the previous record by one minute, 18 seconds:
What an amazing day!— Eliud Kipchoge (@EliudKipchoge) September 16, 2018
I want to thank my coach Patrick Sang, my team mates, my management, Nike and NN. A special thank you to my fans for your support! pic.twitter.com/uCh2wCh3sQ
ESPN reported Kipchoge also became the first runner to finish a marathon in less than two hours, two minutes, and the 33-year-old said of his win: "I lack words to describe this day. They say you miss two times, but you can't miss the third time."
The running conditions in Berlin on Sunday were described as being close to perfect, which was in contrast to last year's edition of the race, which was slowed because of rain.
The BBC's Tom Fordyce was in awe of Kipchoge's achievement and put into context just how difficult it would be for the average person to keep pace for even a fraction of a race:
Can’t get your head around Kipchoge’s new marathon world record of 2hrs 1min 39secs? Go down to your local track and try running a 400m lap in 69.2 secs. Then repeat it 104.5 times— tomfordyce (@tomfordyce) September 16, 2018
Omnisport (h/t AOL) reported the one minute and 18 seconds Kipchoge managed to strip off the previous record is the biggest improvement on a marathon record for some 51 years.
Derek Clayton was the last runner to cut as much time off the standard when he took two minutes, 23 seconds off the top time in 1967.
Jon Mulkeen of the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) joined in the chorus praising Kipchoge's feat and further emphasised what a tall order it would be for the average runner:
If you were to run alongside Kipchoge, how long would you last? This is what 2:01:39 pace translates to for various distances.— Jon Mulkeen (@Statman_Jon) September 16, 2018
I'd probably be spent at about 700m. With some hard training, I could maybe make it a full 800m. pic.twitter.com/FlWmIi3mLk
A new name may sit atop the order, but Kenya still account for both men's and women's marathon world records. Mary Jepkosgei Keitany won the 2017 London Marathon in two hours, 17 minutes and one second.
Kipchoge won the London Marathon for the third time in four years back in April and has now tasted success in Berlin on three occasions, but he'll be very hard-pressed to best his mark after Sunday's achievement.