The 33-year-old, widely seen as the greatest marathon runner of the modern era, ran an official time of two hours, one minute and 39 seconds on a sunny day along the flat inner-city course, smashing Dennis Kimetto’s previous record that had stood since 2014, Reuters reported.
Fellow Kenyan Gladys Cherono won the women’s race with a course record and best time of the year of 2:18:11, leaving Ethiopians Ruti Aga and prerace favorite Tirunesh Dibaba in second and third place respectively.
Kipchoge’s run was the biggest improvement on the marathon mark since Australian Derek Clayton took almost two and a half minutes off the record in 1967.
“I lack words to describe this day,” said a beaming Kipchoge, a former world champion over 5,000 meters and marathon gold medalist at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016. “I am really grateful, happy to smash the world record.”
“They say you can miss it twice but not a third time. So I want to thank everyone who has helped me,” said Kipchoge, who had won in Berlin in 2015 and 2017.
“I am just so incredibly happy to have finally run the world record as I never stopped having belief in myself. Running a sub two hours two minutes was simply amazing and I believe I can still go below that with such good conditions.”
Berlin has now been the stage for the last six men’s world records over the distance.
Kipchoge kept up the pace to sprint through the Brandenburg Gate and complete a world record race that cements his reputation as one of the greatest runners of all time.
Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta congratulated him minutes after his win as well as second-placed Amos Kipruto and Wilson Kipsang, who completed the African nation’s podium sweep.
“Congratulations Eliud Kipchoge for breaking the world record at the Berlin marathon 2018. I also congratulate his compatriots Amos Kipruto & Wilson Kipsang for going out valiantly to bring a 1-2-3 victory for #TeamKenya. You are our heroes. Kenya is proud of you,” Kenyatta wrote on Twitter.
Kipchoge has won 11 out of the 12 marathons he has raced in, including at the Olympics.