A World Record!! Actually, Two of Them.

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Two world records fell in Berlin on Sunday. The first – the biggie – was the marathon world record. Dennis Kimetto ran 2:02:57. He took 26 seconds off the old world record. He became the first person ever to run under 2:03. Also, he ran faster than Geoffrey Mutai’s [wind-aided and downhill] 2:03:02, which was not official, but was the fastest marathon ever.

The conditions were perfect for Kimetto. There were clear skies and temperatures between 45 and 50 degrees.

The world record went under 2:10 in 1967. In 1988, it went under 2:07. Paul Tergat brought it under 2:05 in 2003, and Haile Gebrselassie took it under 2:04 exactly five years later on the same Berlin course. Now, six years later to the day, the record has dropped under 2:03.

Fun Fact: In the last 11 years, three marathon world records have been set on September 28th. The Berlin course is fast – apparently, it’s extra fast on September 28th!

The other world record was set by Emmanuel Mutai. He covered the first 30 kilometers of the race in 1:27:37 – a world record! Mutai also broke the old world record and finished in 2:03:13.

That's my kind of celebration!

That’s my kind of celebration!

Tirfi Tsegaye won the women’s race in 2:20:18. Shalane Flanagan was third in 2:21:14. Deena Kastor’s American record is safe for now.

Full results of the Berlin Marathon are available here.

All eyes now turn to Chicago. In particular, Kenenisa Bekele is the focus. On October 12, he will take a shot at 2:03:23 2:02:57. The script was perfect in Berlin. Ideal weather and a very game Emmanuel Mutai pushing the pace. Who will be willing to go with Bekele? Kipchoge? Bernard Koech? Maybe even Wesley Korir?

Once again, we are left to wonder:

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9 Responses to A World Record!! Actually, Two of Them.

  1. FLRunnerBoy says:

    There are two things that I can tell you are a matter of “WHEN” and not “IF” and that is someone running a sub 2 hour 26.2 and Shalane Flanagan breaking the American record. Deena may have the record for another year or so but not much longer than that.

    • Jason says:

      I agree with you about the two hours – I’m not so sure about the women’s record. There are only a few courses it’s possible on – Berlin, Chicago, London and maybe Rotterdam – and I think that makes it a lot harder. Not only do you need the athlete – perhaps Shalane – but you need perfect conditions. Of course, if Molly Huddle ever moves up to the marathon, forget about it.

  2. omnirunner says:

    Shalane is like Ryan Hall, so close. Shalane’s time at Boston this year would have won the race over the past five years, or something like that. Can you imagine if 2 Americans had won Boston this year?
    She keeps getting better, but the entire elite field of woman runners keeps getting faster also.
    Under 2 hours seems impossible. What are the limits of the human body? But, they keep suprising us!
    Cheers – Andy

  3. WalkToRio says:

    Impressive.
    I hope to live to see a marathon under 2 hours or the girls under 2:05

  4. Chris P says:

    I believe a sub 2 hour marathon will happen some day. Maybe within the next decade. But I do wonder what the ultimate limit is. Is a sub 1:55 marathon possible? Or a sub 1:45 marathon? Even sub 1:55 seems possible; I think sub 1:45 is virtually impossible. I can’t say it is impossible, since nothing is impossible, and who knows what kind of advances in training, nutrition science, and sports science we may see in the coming years.

    • Jason says:

      I agree that 1:55 is possible – but not much quicker. I think we’ll see 1:58 or so in our lifetime. But I suppose you’re right about advances – you never know!

  5. songbird128 says:

    Serious RESPECT to Kimetto!! WOW! I really don’t see Wesley Korir being much of a threat in Chicago. He has not shown to be able to compete with that finish time. (In my humble opinion)
    I love your Blog posts Jason!! Thanks for all of the very informative and interesting reads!!!

  6. atwinthing33 says:

    ha ha I cant wait to see someone break two hours though that is soooo crazy!!!!!!!!!! imagine running 13 miles per hour!!!!!! If I did that I would totally quit my job!!!! I love running its friggan amazing what people can do

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