Road To The Olympic Games

Eliud Kipchoge sets new world record in Berlin marathon win

Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge broke the marathon world record, winning Berlin in two hours one minute 39 seconds on Sunday. Vancouver's Rachel Cliff was top Canadian, placing 11th in her marathon debut in 2:28:53, 53 seconds off Lanni Marchant's national mark.

Olympic champ clocks 2:01:39; Rachel Cliff top Canadian in 2:28:52 at debut marathon

Eliud Kipchoge runs to win the 45th Berlin Marathon in Berlin on Sunday. (Michael Sohn/Associated Press)

Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge set a new marathon world record, winning the Berlin race in two hours, one minute and 39 seconds on Sunday.

Organizers initially put Kipchoge's time at 2:01:40, but later reduced it by one second, which smashes the previous mark of 2:02:57 by 78 seconds, set in Berlin by fellow Kenyan Dennis Kimetto in 2014.

Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge set a new marathon world record, winning the Berlin race in two hours, one minute and 39 seconds on Sunday. 2:53

Men's world records at Berlin

  • 1998: Ronaldo da Costa (Brazil; 2:06:05)
  • 2003: Paul Tergat (Kenya; 2:04:55)
  • 2007: Haile Gebrselassie (Ethiopia; 2:04:26)
  • 2008: Haile Gebrselassie (Ethiopia; 2:03:59)
  • 2011: Patrick Makau Musyoki (Kenya; 2:03:38)
  • 2013: Wilson Kipsang (Kenya; 2:03:23)
  • 2014: Dennis Kimetto (Kenya; 2:02:57)
  • 2018: Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya, 2:01:40)

"I lack words to describe this day," Kipchoge said after becoming the first person to finish a marathon in less than 2:02.

Canada's Cliff shines in debut

"They say you miss two times but you can't miss the third time," he said in reference to his two previous failed attempts to break the world record in Berlin.

Meanwhile, two of the five Canadian female runners competing in their first-ever marathon had drastically different outcomes.

Rachel Cliff, the national-record holder in the half marathon, led the way with an 11th-place finish among women in 2:28.53, only 53 seconds shy of Lanni Marchant's Canadian record.

Rachel Cliff averaged three minutes 30 seconds per kilometre in Sunday's race. "I get a sense she can go a long way at that effort level," says Cliff's coach, Richard Lee. (Twitter/@alnbrookes)

"My coach [Richard Lee] was very confident I could run under 2:32 as long as nothing went wrong, and on a good day that I could run under 2:30," Cliff told CBC Sports. "I made sure I stuck to the pace my coach gave me and didn't waver.

"I think I was patient and that really paid off. I find the big races and the good ones, especially, take longer to set in. I don't think it's sunk in yet but I'm relieved it's over, happy and thankful."

Sasha Gollish, 36, reportedly was running at a 2:30 pace before she exited the race and was taken to a local hospital. Fortunately, the Toronto resident later tweeted that she is fine.

Lyndsay Tessier, 40, raced in the masters division and stopped the clock in an impressive 2:30:47. She prepared for Berlin with a 16:50 personal best in her hometown at last weekend's Canadian 5K Road Racing Championships in Toronto.

Earlier this year, Tessier PB'd in the half marathon in Houston in 1:14.29.

Catherine Watkins, 47, crossed the line in 2:40:11 on Sunday, a Canadian record in the 45-plus category, and a performance that follows the Vancouver resident's 1:18:18 showing at the Edmonton Half Marathon on Aug. 19.

Cherono sets women's meet record

Toronto's Rachel Hannah rounded out the Canadian contingent in 2:42:31, less than a year after being hampered by a stress fracture in her right foot and stress reaction near the thighbone in her left leg.

Gladys Cherono won in a meet record 2:18:11. The previous track track was set by Mizuki Noguchi of Japan 13 years ago.

The 35-year-old Kenyan said she felt confident going into the race but wasn't sure she would beat favorite Tirunesh DibabaDibaba came third behind fellow Ethiopian Rutia Aga.

Lakatos rules wheelchair race

In the men's wheelchair race, Brent Lakatos of Dorval, Que., crossed the line first in 1:29:41 — one year after making his marathon debut in the German capital — to beat defending champion Marcel Hug of Switzerland.

Canada's Brent Lakatos earned his first marathon victory Sunday, posting a time of one hour 29 minutes 41 seconds in the men's wheelchair race at Berlin. Last year in the Germany capital, he was seventh and more than three minutes slower. (Jamie McDonald/Getty Images/File)

Lakatos, who won four gold medals at the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships, shaved more than three minutes off last year's time in Berlin when he placed seventh.

"What an unbelievable experience," the 38-year-old tweeted after the race.

Ideal conditions

Before Sunday's race, the 31-year-old told CBC Sports she planned to run the half marathon at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon on Oct. 21.

Kipchoge defended his 2017 title in the German capital, pulling ahead of other runners early on amid perfect conditions. Mild autumn temperatures and little to no wind gave the runners an advantage over last year, when rain slowed the race.

Berlin debutant Amos Kipruto came second in 2:06:23, followed by a third Kenyan, former world-record holder Wilson Kipsang, with 2:06:48 seconds.

Shogo Nakamura of Japan narrowly missed setting a new national record with a time of 2:08:16 seconds.

With files from Doug Harrison, CBC Sports

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