Eliud Kipchoge bags 5th Berlin Marathon title
Olympic Champion Eliud Kipchoge secured his fifth victory in the Berlin Marathon, clocking an impressive time of 2:02:40 on Sunday.
This win establishes Kipchoge as the first runner to have triumphed in the Berlin Marathon on five occasions.
Vincent Kipkemboi clinched the second-place position, marking his debut in the marathon distance.
Eliud Kipchoge's first
In his first race since placing sixth at the Boston Marathon in April, 38-year-old double Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge crossed the finish line as the sole leader in a time of 2:02:41.
Fellow Kenyan Vincent Kipkemboi finished second, just over 30 seconds behind Kipchoge, while Ethiopia's Tadese Takele trailed by an additional 10 seconds.
The race's early stages saw Kipchoge, Derseh Kindie, and three pacemakers quickly create a gap from the rest of the field. Last year's London Marathon winner, Amos Kipruto, found himself in the second group.
By the 10-kilometer mark, the leaders were already 16 seconds ahead of the world record pace. This lead extended to 23 seconds by the 16-kilometre mark, although it reduced to 13 seconds as they reached the halfway point in 1:00:22.
Around the 26-kilometer mark, Kipchoge briefly emerged from his focused state to communicate with the remaining pacemaker, Hillary Chepkwony. They fell behind the world record pace at this point.
With just over 10 kilometres remaining, Kindie couldn't maintain the pace and eventually stopped. Chepkwony followed suit after exchanging fist bumps with his NN Running Team training partner.
Eliud Kipchoge's run
Kipchoge's illustrious career dates back to his early days when he excelled in shorter distances. After earning a gold medal in the 5000m at the 2003 World Championships, he set his sights on Olympic glory.
He achieved a bronze medal in the 5000m at the Athens 2004 Olympics and came agonizingly close to gold in Beijing 2008. His pursuit of the elusive Olympic gold motivated him to transition to the marathon after narrowly missing qualification for the London 2012 track team.
In 2016, just before making his marathon debut at the Olympics, Kipchoge claimed victory in the London Marathon for the second consecutive year, setting a course record in the process. Finally, at the Rio 2016 Olympics, he fulfilled his lifelong Olympic dream by clinching the gold medal in the marathon.
Kipchoge's journey includes an unofficial marathon completion in under two hours during the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in 2019. Although not recognized as a world record, this feat showcased his extraordinary abilities. He returned to the London Marathon in pursuit of a fifth title but experienced his first marathon loss in seven years. However, he quickly rebounded at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where he secured back-to-back Olympic marathon titles.
Now, as he looks ahead to the Paris 2024 Olympics, Kipchoge strategically chose the Berlin Marathon as part of his preparation. The flat Berlin course closely aligns with the Paris Olympic marathon route, making it an ideal training ground for the legendary runner.
Kipchoge's history in Berlin is nothing short of remarkable, with five victories and two world records to his name.