Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge smashed the marathon world record by clocking a time of two hours one minute 39 seconds in Berlin.
The 33-year-old took nearly one minute 20 seconds off the previous best, which was set by compatriot Dennis Kimetto when he ran 2:02:57 in Berlin in 2014, the BBC reports.
“I lack words to describe this day,” said Kipchoge. “I am really grateful, happy to smash the world record.”
The women’s race was won by Gladys Cherono of Kenya in 2:18:11.
Kipchoge won the London Marathon for a third time earlier this year and is the Olympic champion over the distance.
“It was hard,” he said. “I ran my own race, I trusted my trainers, my programme and my coach. That’s what pushed me in the last kilometres.”
In 2017, Kipchoge missed out on becoming the first athlete to run under two hours for the marathon by 26 seconds.
The Kenyan clocked 2:00:25 but because pacemakers who could swap in and out of the run were used, the time was not recognised as a world record.
Kipchoge is a farmer from the Rift in Kenya.
His record is the biggest improvement in the marathon record in over 50 years.
Kipchoge, who won the gold medal in the marathon at the 2016 Olympics, has dominated marathon running like no one before him over the past five years, winning nine of 10 marathons he had entered since 2013 going into Sunday’s race, The Atlantic reports.
In a profile published on Saturday, The New York Times’ Scott Cacciola called him “a man of immense self-discipline” who keeps meticulous running logs and has never had a serious injury. He is also marathon running’s “philosopher king,” according to Cacciola, distinguishing himself as much with his motivational speaking as he does out on the course. “Kipchoge is the type of person,” writes Cacciola, “who says stuff like: ‘Only the disciplined ones in life are free. If you are undisciplined, you are a slave to your moods and your passions.’ And: ‘It’s not about the legs; it’s about the heart and the mind.’ And: ‘The best time to plant a tree was 25 years ago. The second-best time to plant a tree is today.’”
Congrats to Kipchoge.