An Incredible World Marathon Record Happened in Berlin Yesterday

Mileage goals
Written by Charlie

The latest and most incredible world marathon record was just set by the man who is the undisputed marathon champion. His new world marathon record in Berlin was run to perfection and was incredible for several reasons.

World marathon records are not that common, but they seem to becoming increasingly more so over the last decade or so. All interested eyes always turn to the Berlin Marathon to see if that will, once again, be the site of a new world marathon record.

Normally, these new world marathon records are incremental – certainly not diminishing them at all! – as they chip away a few seconds at a time. This is what made yesterday so incredible.

An Incredible World Marathon Record Happened in Berlin Yesterday

The Berlin marathon has been the home of 8 men’s world marathon records (11 records in total) so runners know that the Berlin Marathon in September is an important one to watch for the distance running crown.

Last year, Nike put on an attempt in Italy to break the 2 hour mark in the marathon. The man who came the closest to breaking that mark, which has never before been done, was Eliud Kipchoge from Kenya. He came so close with a final time of 2 hours and 25 seconds. That incredible effort did not count for a marathon record due to many factors in the event to push for the 2 hour mark.

Yet, it certainly meant something to Eliud, a man who now knew he could come so close to 2 hours with all the proper work and confidence that training for the event gave to him. Yesterday, in Berlin, he put all of that to work as set a new world marathon record. Actually, “set” is really not an appropriate word as he obliterated the previous great world record time of 2:02:57 by an astounding 1 minute and 18 seconds to give the world a new marathon record time of 2:01:39!!!!

That is just an incredible feat, not just the setting of a new world marathon record but by doing it with such a huge margin over the last record. It has been 50 years since such a margin between records was set, just to give you an idea of how amazing that was.

Here was the progression of the world marathon record time for men since the year 2000:

World Record TimeMarathonerCountyDateMarathon Location
2:05:38Khalid Khannouchi United StatesApril 14, 2002London Marathon
2:04:55Paul Tergat KenyaSeptember 28, 2003Berlin Marathon
2:04:26Haile Gebrselassie EthiopiaSeptember 30, 2007Berlin Marathon
2:03:59Haile Gebrselassie EthiopiaSeptember 28, 2008Berlin Marathon
2:03:38Patrick Makau KenyaSeptember 25, 2011Berlin Marathon
2:03:23Wilson Kipsang KenyaSeptember 29, 2013Berlin Marathon
2:02:57Dennis Kimetto KenyaSeptember 28, 2014Berlin Marathon
2:01:39Eliud Kipchoge KenyaSeptember 16, 2018Berlin Marathon

As you can see, yesterday’s world marathon record margin actually covered the total time separation of the 4 previous world record times! That is just astounding!

More Astonishing Numbers


His marathon time puts it at a pace of 4 minutes and 39 seconds per mile. Try that – go outside and run 12.9 miles per hour for as long as you can. I guarantee that most would not be able to hold that for even 1/10th of a mile!

Negative Split

Another stunning fact is that the distance from 40km to the end (42.195km) was done in 6 minutes and 8 seconds which Runner’s World says is the fastest known time for that distance in any marathon. He also performed a negative split (running the second half of the race faster than the first) with his first 13.1 miles being done in 1 hour, 1 minute, and 6 seconds and the second 13.1 miles being run in 1 hour and 33 seconds. This shows how precise and incredible his race went as that is like perfection for marathon pacing!

The Greatest of All Time?

Now, Eliud can really be considered one of (if not THE) great marathons of all time. He is the current Olympic Gold Medal champion in the Marathon, he has the fastest marathon time and the fasted world record marathon time. For a man who is at the age of 33, he may still have even more accomplishments in the upcoming years. For now, yesterday was truly a very special day in Berlin for Eliud Kipchoge, the people of Kenya, and runners around the world. Congrats, Eliud!!!!

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


  • As a runner just to burn a few calories this marathon time is simply incredible. I use a treadmill a lot due to crappy weather. Trust me, at 8 or 9 mph that seems to be an all out sprint. I cannot fathom almost 13 mph FOR TWO HOURS!
    I find this hard to wrap my mind around. Amazing.

  • I mostly come here for the travel info & reviews, but this was a great story. Keep up the good work Charlie!