Eliud Kipchoge smashes world marathon record by 78 seconds in Berlin

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Kipchoge said a record time was in his sights before the race, and after the opening few kilometres, it became clear his pacemakers would be pushed to the limit.

Breaking down Kipchoge's time, however, is where the manner of his achievement really comes into focus. According to the IAAF, that is the largest improvement on the marathon record since Derek Clayton cut two minutes and 23 seconds off the world record in 1967.

Berlin has now been the stage for the last six men's world records over the distance.

"The last pacesetter went out at 25km mark but that still inspired me to continue pushing alone", explained Kipchoge adding that he shall defend his title perhaps with another new record next year.

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With Boit doing a stellar job of maintaining his solitary charge at the front, the pair passed through 20km in 57:56 and the halfway mark at 61:06 - nearly on par with the target of 61 minutes for the first half.

The fastest German was Valentin Harwardt with 2:19:54.

But even after the last one peeled off after 25-kilometres, Kipchoge showed no sign of slowing, passing the 30km mark in 1:26:45, with a pace of 2:52 per 1,000-metres.

With his customary wry smile affixed, Kipchoge never looked like faltering in the final 5km.

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The 33-year-old Olympic marathon champion had the world record in the bag with plenty of room left to run. The only question was how far inside Kimetto's record he would get.

Kipchoge came agonizingly close to sporting immortality by almost running the first sub two-hour marathon a year ago. "I didn't know that what I was believing translated to 2:01 but I'm happy for it". Speaking post-race, Kipchoge was all but beyond words; "I lack words to describe this day".

The marathon had initially given his unofficial time as 2 hours, 1 minute and 40 seconds, then adjusted it by one second. Previous year he set the fastest ever time over the marathon distance on the Monza race track in Italy for Nike's Breaking2 project. Ironically, it took a world record setting run by Kipsang in 2013 in Berlin to beat Kipchoge in what was just his second marathon since moving from the track.

The 33-year-old, a three-time victor of the London Marathon, has now won 10 of the 11 marathons he has contested.

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