Kenyans are still raveling in the glory of Eliud Kipchoge’s stunning marathon world record in Berlin over a week ago. Kipchoge’s feat was the fourth straight world marathon record set by a Kenyan male runner in the last seven years. However, many more have tumbled in the last decade as compiled by Joel Omotto
Eliud Kipchoge (Berlin 2018)
The man of the moment. Two hours, one minute and 39 seconds. That is what it took Eliud Kipchoge to break the world marathon record in Berlin on September 16. Just a few years ago, no one thought a human could run a marathon in under two hours.
But in Berlin, Kipchoge shattered the world record. Two hours now seems inevitable and Mr Philosophical, as they call him, could jut be the man to do it yet again. And why not, after all Berlin was his 10th victory in 11 marathons run in just five years!
Beatrice Chepkoech (Monaco 2018)
On a night of sensational running at a hot and humid Stade Louis II, Beatrice Chepkoech produced the crowning performance of the 10th IAAF Diamond League meeting of the season as she took more than eight seconds off the women’s world 3,000m steeplechase record, coming home, alone and triumphant, in 8:44.32 on July 20, 2018.
That obliterated the mark of 8:52.78 set by Ruth Jebet of Bahrain in winning at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Paris in 2016, and the 8:58.78 set in Eugene last year by her compatriot Celliphine Chespol.
Peres Jepchirchir (RAK 2017)
Peres Jepchirchir broke Florence Kiplagat’s world record in the women’s half marathon on February 10, 2017, clocking 1:05:06 at the RAK Half Marathon in Ras al-Khaimah, UAE. The then 23-year-old, who won the world title over the distance in 2016, knocked three seconds from the previous record set by her compatriot Kiplagat in Barcelona in 2015.
Joyciline Jepkosgei (Valencia 2017)
In 2017, Joyciline Jepkosgei had an historic year, bursting onto the road-racing scene by breaking five world records in the span of five months. In September, she finished the Prague Grand Prix 10K in 29:43, becoming the first woman ever to break 30 minutes for the distance in a road race.
Jepkosgei held the previous mark of 30:04 for 10K, which she set in April during the Prague Half Marathon, where she also set three other records in that single race for 15K, 20K and the half marathon, which she set in Valencia, taking one second off her own world record to win in 1:04:51 on October 22 that year.
Mary Keitany (London 2017)
Mary Keitany took 41 seconds off the women’s-only world record at the London Marathon on April 23, 2017, running 2:17:01 in the English capital. Keitany had said in the build-up that she was in shape to break Paula Radcliffe’s mark of 2:17:42 and while she demurred when asked about the possibility of bettering Radcliffe’s outright mark of 2:15:25, Keitany was running minutes inside Radcliffe’s schedule in the first half.
After covering the preceding two miles in 5:27 and 5:25 respectively, Keitany spurted again with a 26th mile in 4:56 to ensure she would take a sizeable chunk off Radcliffe’s 12-year-old women’s-only world record, the second-fastest time in the history of women’s marathon running.
Florence Kiplagat (Barcelona 2015)
Competing in the same race in which she broke the world record the previous year, Florence Kiplagat improved on her own half-marathon mark in Barcelona on February 15, 2015. Her winning time of 1:05:09 shaved three seconds off her previous world record set 12 months prior. She also set world records for 15km and 20km en route to her winning performance.
Dennis Kimetto (Berlin 2014)
To win a race, they say, you have to beat everybody who shows up on the day, but to set a world record, you have to beat everybody who’s ever shown up. On September 28, 2014 at the Berlin Marathon, Dennis Kimetto did both as he blazed his way to a marathon world record of 2:02:57.
As it turned out, he had to run a world record to beat everyone who showed up, as fellow Kenyan Emmanuel Mutai, running 2:03:13, also dipped below the previous best mark. Kimetto’s run carved a whopping 26 seconds off Wilson Kipsang’s previous world record, a second for every mile of the race.
Wilson Kipsang (Berlin 2013)
Wilson Kipsang set the marathon world record, clocking in at 2:03:23 in the Berlin Marathon on September 29, 2013. That was 26.2 miles at an average speed of four minutes, 42 seconds per mile. The Kenyan beat his countryman Patrick Makau’s previous record by 15 seconds in the race held in Berlin in 2011.
David Rudisha (London 2012)
King David as they call him broke his own world record to claim an Olympic gold medal in the 800m at the London Games on August 9, 2012.
Rudisha, then 23, stormed through the first lap in 49.28 and powered to a stunning victory in 1:40.91, taking 0.10 off his previous record as all eight finalists set record times. Rudisha is the first and only person to ever run under 1:41 for the event.
Patrick Makau (Berlin 2011)
Patrick Makau set a world record of 2:03:38 in the Berlin Marathon on September 21, 2011, becoming only the second Kenyan to achieve the feat since Paul Tergat’s mark of 2:04:55 at the same course in 2003.
Just before Mile 17, Makau swung from one side of the flat course to the other, once, twice, three times, then surged. This zigzagging tactic exposed and dropped the previous record-holder, Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia, who had run 2:03:59 (world record) in Berlin in 2008.