This is the fall marathon season in full swing! Hundreds of thousands of runners around the US will be crossing the starting line of many of the nation’s most popular 26.2 mile races. One of the biggest around is the Chicago Marathon and it was the last Sunday. While this race can be somewhat unpredictable in terms of weather, the flatness of the course always is good for some fast times. And that is what was there this past Sunday.
The New Marathon World Record
Eliud Kipchoge is a marathoner runner from Kenya and he has just torn up the 26.2 mile distance over the past few years. Not only is he the 2016 and 2020 Olympic marathon champion, but he also has run 4 of the 7 fastest marathons in history! His fastest marathon time was 2:01:09 which he ran at the Berlin Marathon last year and was the world record time.
However, he also is the only person to ever run 26.2 miles under 2 hours in the INEOS project in Vienna 4 years ago. However, for a variety of factors, this was not eligible for a record attempt. It was just done to show what is possible to be done.
However, the 39 year old Eliud lost his marathon record this past Sunday as fellow Kenyan runner Kelvin Kiptum, a 23 year old marathon runner who has burst on to the marathon scene in stunning fashion. He debuted at the 2022 Valencia Marathon with a time of 2:01:53. He followed that up by winning the 2023 London Marathon with a time of 2:01:25. And now, at the Chicago Marathon this past Sunday, he ran the new marathon world record with 2:00:35 – just 36 seconds away from breaking the 2 hour mark in an actual marathon race!
WORLD RECORD: We have a new man in town. Kelvin Kiptum just broke Eliud Kipchoge’s World Record with an unofficial time of 2:00:35! UNBELIEVABLE! pic.twitter.com/XfeMEzPveZ
— Chicago Marathon (@ChiMarathon) October 8, 2023
He has 3 marathons now that he has run, all of them under 2 hours and 2 minutes. And he is very young still! No one knows what Kelvin may be able to do, particularly at the Olympics in Paris next summer. One thing that does seem like a good chance – with the two fastest marathoners in the world, Kenya is in a good position to gain another marathon Olympic gold medal next year.
Congrats to Kelvin Kiptum on his new world record!
However, Kelvin was not the only one to set a new record in Chicago. Two 75 year old marathoners set new masters records. Jeannie Rice broke the world record for the fastest women’s masters time with a race time of 3:34:32 and Gene Dykes broke the American masters time in the marathon with a record of 3:17:01. That is just amazing – a man 34 years older than me ran a time that is 12 minutes faster than me!
Des Linden also set a new American masters record with a time of 2:27:47. Simply fantastic!
On a side note, this is one of the amazing things about running marathons. Almost 50,000 runners were on the streets in Chicago on Sunday and they all got to enjoy the fantastic feeling of knowing they were running in the footsteps of a runner who just broke the world record in front of them. There is no other sport that gives that kind of proximity to greatness and allows “normal” people to be on the same field as the pros.
And well done to all of the Chicago Marathon finishers!
Featured photo from Chicago Marathon Twitter