Eliud Kipchoge (2:01:09) Smashes World File; Tigist Assefa (2:15:37) Stuns World at 2022 Berlin Marathon

Eliud Kipchoge (2:01:09) Smashes World File; Tigist Assefa (2:15:37) Stuns World at 2022 Berlin Marathon

September 25, 2022

The marathon GOAT has done it again.

At the 2022 BMW Berlin Marathon on Sunday, Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge ran 2:01:09 to win the race and take 30 seconds off the world record he set on the same course four years ago.

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Kipchoge, who also ran 1:59:40 for the marathon distance at an exhibition in Vienna in 2019, took off at an incredible tempo, hitting 5k in 14:14, 10k in 28:23, and halfway in 59:51 – easily the fastest split ever in a marathon (the previous best in an actual marathon was 61:00 from London in 2018).

Incredibly, when Kipchoge hit halfway, he was not alone; Ethiopia’s Andamlak Belihu (26:53 10k pb, 58:54 half), running just his second marathon, was right with him.

The brutal pace would ultimately take its toll on both runners as Kipchoge began to slow once the final pacemaker stepped off at 25k (1:11:08), even as he began to drop Belihu. But as late as 35k (1:40:10), Kipchoge was still on sub-2:01 marathon pace, and he would close hard over the final kilometer to stop the clock at 2:01:09. (Belihu would finish 4th in 2:06:40).

Kipchoge now owns the top two times in history, 2:01:09 today and his previous world record of 2:01:39 in Berlin in 2018. Kenenisa Bekele is #2 in history, 32 seconds back at 2:01:41.

In the women’s race, 28-year-old Ethiopian Tigist Assefa SHOCKED the world by running the third-fastest time in history – 2:15:38.

Assefa came into the race with just one marathon under her belt, a 2:34:01 clocking in Riyadh in March that placed her 7th.

Assefa has run well in Berlin in the past as she won at the ISTAF Berlin meet on the track — but in the 800! Yes, in 2014, she won the women’s 800 at the ISTAF Berlin meet in 2:00.16. She also ran 1:59.24 that year but never made Worlds or Olympics in the 800. Her only other track PBs is in the 400 – 54.05. She has no track pbs listed for 1500, 5000 or 10,000. 

She moved to the roads in 2018 and ran 34:35 for 10k. In 2019, she improved to 31:45 for 10k and 68:24 in the half marathon. There are no results listed for her at all in 2020 or 2021. This year she started by making her marathon debut in Riyadh in 2:34:01 in March for 7th place. Then she PR’d at 10k (30:52) and the half marathon (67:28) and now this. Super shocking and impressive.

American Keira D’Amato, the pre-race favorite, was on American record pace at halfway (69:27) but faded over the second half and wound up 6th in 2:21:48.

This is a flash recap. Check back for more.

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About the Author: camille r mercer

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