Kiptum records second-fastest marathon time ever

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Kiptum records second-fastest marathon time ever

Kelvin Kiptum won the 2023 London Marathon men’s elite race in record time. The Kenyan recorded the second-fastest marathon time ever at 2:01:25. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Kiptum finished 16 seconds shy of the all-time record set by compatriot Eliud Kipchoge’s last September in the Berlin Marathon.
  • Kiptum, 23, covered the second half of the London course in 59:45.
  • His record finish came minutes after Sifan Hassan won the women’s race with a sprint finish in 2:18:33. Sunday marked Hassan’s marathon debut.
  • Four-time Olympic gold medalist Mo Farah completed the course in 2:10.28 and finished the men’s elite race in ninth. He said London would be his final marathon.

The Athletic’s instant analysis:

Do we have a new GOAT contender?

Kiptum is here to stay. Less than five months after he ran the fastest debut marathon in history (a 2:01:53 in Valencia), the 23-year-old dropped a mind-boggling 59:45 second half split in London to run the second-fastest time ever.

Less than a week after Kipchoge’s disappointing performance in Boston, it’s only natural to wonder if the GOAT’s possible career sunset is setting up the dawning of his successor.

For some perspective, before Sunday, the greatest half split in a marathon was 59:51, run by Kipchoge himself in his record-setting run at Berlin last year. Kiptum cleared that on a slower London course and on a rainy morning.

The 16-second difference between Kiptum’s winning time and Kipchoge’s record time isn’t a tiny gap, but Kiptum is also hitting these times at a far younger age than the elder Kenyan and with far less wear and tear. We could be witnessing the beginning of another legendary career. — Puleo

Was Hassan’s comeback the greatest in marathon history?

Hassan conquered everything the long-distance track scene had to offer, pulling off double gold medal performances at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics (in the 5000m and 10,000m) and at the 2019 Doha World Championships (in the 1500m and 10,000m). In between, she also crushed the world mile record and set a slew of European records.

Sunday marked her move into uncharted waters at the marathon distance, and all she did was pull off a thrilling comeback to win in a sprint finish with one of the most exciting kicks in recent marathon history.

She stopped twice at mile 12 to stretch out her recently injured quad, causing her to lose contact with the lead pack. Then once she made up the nearly 30 seconds of lost ground, she missed the drink station by the 25-mile mark, causing her to stop in her tracks and nearly get run over by the lead motorcycle. Then she topped the eventful morning off with a road-melting 200-meter sprint to run away with the title.

(Photo: Peter van den Berg / USA Today)