Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge shatters his own world record, clocking 2:01:09 in Berlin Marathon

Kenyan marathoner Eliud Kipchoge shattered his own world record in the Berlin Marathon on Sunday with a marathon time of 2:01:09, shaving off 30 seconds from his previous record set in 2018 on the same course. 

Kipchoge, who won the 2016 and 2020 Olympic gold medal in the marathon, is getting close to eclipsing the elusive 2-hour barrier in a sanctioned world marathon. In 2019, he became the first person to ever run an entire marathon in under two hours –  he ran 1:59:40 at the Ineos 1:59 Challenge but the IAAF did not qualify it as a world record since it was an unofficial training run. 

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge crosses the line to win the Berlin Marathon in Berlin, Germany. Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge has bettered his own world record in the Berlin Marathon. Kipchoge clocked 2:01:09 on Sunday to shave 30 seconds off his previous best-mark of 2:01:39 from the same course in 2018.

The 37-year-old runner set off at a furious pace Sunday, covering the first 10 kilometers in 28:23 and clocking 42:32 at the 15K-mark, hinting at a sub-two-hour attempt. Defending champion Guye Adola and Ethiopian Andamlak Belihu managed to keep pace but Kipchoge later pulled away. 

Kipchoge, who previously competed in the 5,000-meter distance and won a silver medal in the 2008 Olympics, has now won 15 of the 17 official marathons he's entered. 

"I planned to go out fast in the first half," Kipchoge told reporters after his victory. 

"My legs and my body still feel young. But the most important thing is my mind, and that also feels fresh and young. I'm so happy to break the world record."

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The last pacemaker dropped off at the 25K mark, leaving Kipchoge on his own.

The men's record has now been set eight times in a row in Berlin, favored by runners for its flat course.

Ethiopia's Tigist Assefa unexpectedly won the women's race in a course record of 2:15:37 – 18 minutes faster than she had ever run before.

Contributing: The Associated Press.