Eliud Kipchoge leaves marathon world record in tatters

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With weather conditions ideal and virtually no wind, it was clear after the opening few kilometres that Kipchoge's only opponent would be the clock and his three pacemakers were pushed to the limit to keep the tempo high as Kipchoge dipped well below world-record time by the halfway mark.

Kipchoge, the Olympic champion, had always been called the greatest marathon runner of all time but, despite winning nine of his past ten marathons, the world record had eluded him until yesterday when he barely saw a rival before winning the Berlin Marathon in 2hr 1min 39sec.

Kipchoge has won 10 of the 11 marathons he's run.

He broke the previous world record set in Berlin by Kenyan Dennis Kimetto in 2014 by 1 minute and 18 seconds an improvement that had not been witnessed in fifty years.

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge crosses the finish line to win the Berlin Marathon setting a new world record on September 16, 2018 in Berlin.

"I lack the words to describe how I feel", said Kipchoge, whose winning margin over Amos Kipruto in second place was nearly five minutes.

He started with a sizzling pace and quickly shook off his biggest opponent, Wilson Kipsang, to make it a one-man race.

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Athletics: Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge breaks marathon world record in Berlin

It was clear after the opening few kilometres that Kipchoge's only opponent would be the clock and his three pacemakers were pushed to the limit to keep the tempo high.

"It was really hard, but I was prepared to run my own race early so I wasn't surprised to be alone".

All the world records came from the Berlin course. "That's what pushed me in the last kilometres", he said.

Yet even after the last pacemaker peeled off after 25km, Kipchoge showed no sign of slowing as thousands of Berliners egged him on.

But the race conditions at the Nike-sponsored event were so favourable - Kipchoge ran behind a six-man pacesetting team and was trailed by a time-keeping vehicle on a racing circuit in Monza, Italy - that the time was not recognised by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

For the women's race, Kenyan Gladys Cherono won in 2:18:11, followed by Ethiopians Ruti Aga in 2:18:34 and Tirunesh Dibaba in 2:18:55.

Amos Kipruto finished second in 2:06:22, while former world record holder Wilson Kipsang emerged third in 2:06:47, in what will be a historic race for the marathoners.

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