Eliud Kipchoge from Kenya is the best marathon runner in the world. He is also now the fastest. On Sunday during the Berlin Marathon, Kipchoge absolutely smashed the world record by 78 seconds, running an incredible time of 2 hours I minute 39 seconds. This run was one of the greatest athletic achievements in the history of sport, up there with Usain Bolt’s 9:58 in the 100 meters.
The marathon is a 26.2 mile race. Kipchoge ran an average mile time of 4:38 – including a flash-like 4:22 to start the race. To put this achievement into perspective, look at the past world records for the mile. The first professional record back in 1855 was Charles Westhall’s 4:28. But whereas Westhall could fall over the line and have a nice cup of tea, Kipchoge kept on running the mile race… 26 more times!
Some people have commented that a sub-2 hour marathon may be beyond a human’s potential. Perhaps we just aren’t designed to run that fast for that long. Even Sunday’s time of 2:01:39 may be difficult to beat. If Kipchoge himself continues to compete though, anything might be possible.