At the sound of the start gun at the 2018 Berlin Marathon was Eliud Kipchoge challenged by former world record holder Wilson Kipsang (both Kenya). Kipsang at the start was the only runner, who has four sub 2:04 times. The women’s race on the other hand featured Ethiopia’s three time Olympic gold medallist Tirunesh Dibaba. Kenya’s defending champion Gladys Cherono and Edna Kiplagat started off as Dibaba’s strongest rivals.
After a very quick opening kilometre of 2:43 the 2 k split time was 5:41 with Eliud Kipchoge having found the right pace for his world record (2:02:57) attempt.
Eliud passed the 5 k mark in 14:24 pointing to a 2:01:30 finish. Kipsang was nine seconds behind withing the world record pace.
The men’s leading pack at 10k was Eliud Kipchoge in 29:01,Wilson Kipsang with 29:12 , Amos Kipruto at 29:16 while Abera Kuma was fourth in 29:16 as Shogo Nakamura closed the first five in 30:09.
The women runners on the other hand were led by Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia with 32:44 as Gladys Cherono, a Kenyan came in with 32:44. Ruti Aga passed with 32:45 as Helen Tola had 32:45 and Edna Kiplagat at 32:49.
Kipchoge passed the 15km mark in 00:43:38 on a 02:02:45 tempo, something Kimetto did at 44:09 just before two pacers Kitwara and Kipkemoi dropped leaving Boit with pacing duties. After a 57:56 split at 20 k Kipchoge passed the half marathon point in 61:06. Kipsang had slowed a bit and therefore outside his schedule with a split of 62:07 with Amos tagging along Kipsang. At 25km, it was was still a Kenyan affair in the top with leader Kipchoge having a 1:12:24 split time (2:02:15 pace). Shortly afterwards he lost his last pacemaker – this is relatively early for a world record attempt. Kipruto and Kipsang pass this point in 1:13:55. Amos kipruto was in second going through 25km mark in 01:13:55 while Wilson Kipsang was in 3rd in 01:13:56.
Interestingly Josphat Boit also couldn’t keep up with the forward surging Kipchoge just after the 27K. At this point, Kipchoge was unstoppable and each person’s lips could only gasp, “This Man Kipchoge”
At a time Eliud was picking his water at 28K, Gladys Cherono had taken the lead in the women’s race.
At 30K Kipchoge was running for the books with his time at 1:26:45, covering the last 1000m in 2:52. He was at a 2:02 pace. Kipruto at second crossed 30 k with 1:28:41 while Kipsang third with 1:29:20. At fourth was Shogo Nakamura with 1:30:23 as Zersenay Tadese ran fifth with 1:31:10
Between 32 and 34K Kipchoge still looked very strong with split times of 2:49 – 2:52.
Gladys Cherono passed 30K with 1:38:04, second came Aga Ruti with 1:38:04, while Edna Kiplagat passed that veryark with 1:38:23. Dibaba was fourth with 1:38:24
At 35K Eliud Kipchoge as on the way to a world record. He passed 35 k in 1:41:01 and the projection was a sub 2:02 if he continued like this! The current world record, at this time still stood at 2:02:57. Kenya’s Dennis Kimetto ran this time in Berlin in 2014.
A unique women’s result was in the offing as well with the top four runners running a sub 2:19 pace. there has never been more than two sub 2:19 times in one race yet.
Kipchoge passed 40 k in 1:55:32 and phenomenally broke the world record in 2:01:39 with his cutting of the tape at Berlin being the beginning on a new page in the books, a world record on German soil set by a Kenyan.
Eliud is unstoppable !!! He is the only man, in 50 years to improve his PB, now a WR by 1.17.
Amos Kipruto finished second with 2:06:23 while former Record Holder third Wilson Kipsang closed the podium with 2:06:48
1. Eliud Kipchoge KEN 2:01:39
2. Amos Kipruto KEN 2:06:23
3. Wilson Kipsang KEN 2:06:48
4. Shogo Nakamura JPN 2:08:16
5. Zersenay Tadese ERI 2:08:46
Gladys Cherono won in the women’s race in a course record and world leading time of 2:18:11 as Ruti Aga came in second in 2:18:34 and Tirunesh Dibaba finishing third with 2:18:55. Never in the history of marathon running have three women broken 2:19 in one race!
1. Gladys Cherono KEN 2:18:11
2. Ruti Aga ETH 2:18:34
3. Tirunesh Dibaba ETH 2:18:55
4. Edna Kiplagat KEN 2:21:18
5. Mizuki Matsuda JPN 2:22:23