Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge is the new marathon World record holder.
Kipchoge smashed the previous world record by compatriot Dennis Kimetto by a massive one minutes and 16 seconds, clocking 2 hours, 01 minute and 39 seconds to retain his BMW Berlin Marathon title on Sunday.
he 33-year-old Kipchoge, who won in Berlin in 2015, edged out compatriot Amos Kipruto to second place in 2:06:20 as the 2013 Berlin Marathon champion Wilson Kipsang settled third in 2:06:47. He will pocket a cash prize of Sh555million for his victory and a bonus of Sh7 million from IAAF.
"It was hard," Kipchoge said. "I ran my own race, I trusted my trainers, my programme and my coach. That's what pushed me in the last kilometres."
The world record stayed in Kenyans hands again after Patrick Makau ( 2:03:38) in 2011, Wilson Kipsang (2:03:23) in 2013 and Dennis Kimettto (2:02:57) in 2014.
All the world records came from the Berlin course.
Kipchoge hit the half way mark with one pacesetter in 57:26 minutes, way inside Kimetto world record by one minute and nine seconds before hitting 1:26:45 against Kimetto’s 1”27:38 at 30km mark.
The 2003 World 5,000m champion build a 45 seconds inside Kimetto’s world record when passing the 35km mark in 1:41:03 before cruising past the 40km in 1:55:32 against Kimetto’s 1:56.32.
"I had great belief that I could achieve this feat and running a sub 2 hours two minutes was simply amazing and I believe I can still go below that with such good conditions," said Kipchoge, adding that he could have posted better times if he went with the pacesetters up to 30km mark.
"The last pacesetter went out at 25km mark but that still inspired me to continue pushing alone," explained Kipchoge adding that he shall defend his title perhaps with another new record next year. "Berlin forever! I shall come back here next year."
It was the largest single improvement on the marathon world record since Derek Clayton improved the mark by 2:23 in 1967.
Acclaimed as the greatest marathon runner of the modern era, Kipchoge has dominated marathon racing since making his debut in Hamburg in 2013 after a successful track career that saw him win world gold and silver (2003, 2007) in the 5000m and Olympic silver and bronze (2008, 2004) over the same distance.
He has notched up 10 wins from the 11 marathons he has raced, winning three times not only in Berlin but also London, with victories in Rio for Olympic gold as well as in Hamburg, Rotterdam and Chicago.