Dennis Kimetto takes 26 seconds off world marathon record

His run averaged two minutes 55 seconds for each of the 42 kilometres

Matt Majendie
Thursday 02 October 2014 11:42
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Kenya’s Dennis Kimetto won the Berlin Marathon in a world record time
Kenya’s Dennis Kimetto won the Berlin Marathon in a world record time

The last time Dennis Kimetto broke a world record, it was later rescinded following an error over his age.

His victory at the 2012 RAK Half Marathon was thought to be a world junior best until it was realised that the organisers had been given an incorrect date of birth for Kimetto. Not so on Sunday as the 30-year-old Kenyan broke the world record for the marathon with a scintillating run through the streets of Berlin.

The German city is increasingly the place to break the 26.2-mile mark – it has now provided the scene for the last five world records at the distance.

And Kimetto achieved it by some margin, his time of two hours, two minutes and 57 seconds taking 26 seconds off the record of countryman Wilson Kipsang, who set the target a year ago in Berlin but was missing this time.

Kimetto had promised to have a go at the record in Berlin if conditions played their part and he proved true to his word in temperatures that gradually increased from a starting point around 8C.

His run, which averaged two minutes 55 seconds for each of the 42 kilometres, also broke the fastest time in history of 2:03:02 set by Kimetto’s training partner Geoffrey Mutai at the 2011 Boston Marathon – although that record was deemed ineligible because the course was deemed too downhill.

A three-man group which also included fellow Kenyans Emmanuel Mutai and Geoffrey Kamworor stayed perfectly in time with the record requirement at every mark.

Mutai twice attempted to break clear but did not have the legs to leave Kimetto trailing, the latter eventually breaking the shackles to pull clear at the finish at the Brandenburg Gate, the late 18th-century neo-classical triumphal arch a fitting finish for such a run.

There was scant consolation for Mutai, 16 seconds behind, that his time was the second fastest in the record books, while the pace eventually took its toll on Kamworor, who was passed by Ethiopia’s Abera Kuma in the dying stages for third.

“I feel good because I won a very tough race,” said Kimetto afterwards. “I felt good from the start and in the last five kilometres I felt I could do it [break the record].”

Kipsang was gracious as he saw his own record tumble, tweeting: “1 year I was proud to carry the name of WRholder. Now I say congrats to my colleague Kimetto. Congratulations to Dennis for an epic WR. Thanks for the great motivation to train ever harder!”

As the first man to run a marathon in under two hours and three minutes, Kimetto has taken the record ever closer to the two-hour mark.

Paula Radcliffe’s 11-year-old world record, meanwhile, stayed comfortably intact in the women’s race, which was won by Ethiopian Tirfi Tsegaye in a time of 2:20:18. Radcliffe’s 2:15:25 mark has stood since the 2003 London Marathon.

Tumbling record

2:04:26, H Gebrselassi (Ethiopia) Sept 2007, Berlin

2:03:59, Gebrselassie Sept 2008, Berlin

2:03:38, P Makau (Kenya) Sept 2011, Berlin

2:03:23, W Kipsang (Kenya) Sept 2013, Berlin

2:02:57, D Kimetto (Kenya) Sept 2014, Berlin

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