World marathon record destroyed in Chicago
Kenya’s Kelvin Kiptum demolished the world marathon record Sunday in Chicago, becoming the first person to ever run under 2:01 in a record-eligible marathon. Here’s what you need to know:
- Kiptum finished in 2:00:35. Eliud Kipchoge — who held the previous world record of 2:01:09 set in Berlin last year — ran 1:59:40 in a controlled race environment in 2019.
- The 23-year-old Kiptum put his mark on the record-breaking performance with a 4:18 22nd-mile split, one of the fastest mile splits during a marathon in the event’s history, per LetsRun.
- In the women’s race, Sifan Hassan ran the second-fastest marathon in women’s history, clocking 2:13:44 to break the course record. Her near-record time comes 14 days after Ethiopia’s Tigst Assefa ran 2:11:53 in Berlin.
- Hassan, who had run under world record pace for much of the race, outran Ruth Chepngetich, who led the women’s race under record pace before Hassan rejoined and eventually gapped her before the 30k mark.
WORLD RECORD 🤯
🇰🇪’s Kelvin Kiptum destroys the marathon world record* at the @ChiMarathon with 2:00:35 😵
He becomes the first man in history to break 2:01.
*Subject to the usual ratification procedures pic.twitter.com/gRYYzE89d0
— World Athletics (@WorldAthletics) October 8, 2023
Do we have a new marathon GOAT on our hands?
Kiptum has a long, long, long way to go to match Kipchoge’s longevity, but the early-career returns have been mind-boggling for the relative youngster. Unlike Kipchoge and many other marathon legends, Kiptum’s career didn’t begin on the track. Does that mean he’ll have more years on top of the sport? Or does it mean his early mileage will limit his shelf life?
Time will tell, but his trajectory is unlike anything the sport has ever seen before. Kipchoge’s magnificence is highlighted by his otherworldly durability, continuing to pace the sport in his late 30s. But he may have company at the peak of mount marathon.
How did Americans perform?
American men were kept out of the top five, but dominated the race’s second tier. Running as a pack, Conner Mantz, Clayton Young, Galen Rupp and Sam Chelanga took spots six through nine, all running under 2:09.
Mantz, a BYU graduate who earned international acclaim for his aggressive style at the Boston Marathon this spring, ran 2:07:47 to pace the Americans, beating Rupp by over a minute. Rupp, considered one of the best American distance runners in history, was making his marathon return after a couple years of injuries. He finished second at Chicago in 2021, running 2:06:35. The 37-year-old is aiming to make his fifth Olympic team in 2024.
The American women performed similarly, as Emily Sisson and Molly Seidel led the country’s efforts with seventh- and eighth-place finishes. Seidel became a national hero in 2021 after her surprise Olympic team qualification and shock bronze-medal showing in Tokyo. Since then, she finished fourth at the New York City Marathon in 2021 and then dropped out of Boston in 2022 with a hip injury. Sunday’s race was her long-awaited return and her personal-best time of 2:23:07 laid a promising foundation ahead of next year’s Olympic trip to Paris.
Sisson, who set the American women’s marathon record in Chicago last year with a 2:18:29, went out in sub-2:19 pace once again but faded to a 2:22:09 after a gutsy final 10k. The 31-year-old has made one Olympic team, competing in the 10,000 meter in 2021.
Who is Kiptum?
Kiptum burst onto the marathon scene with a 2:01:53 course record at the 2022 Valencia Marathon, running a blistering 60:15 second half. After debuting as the third man in history to run under 2:02, he won his first World Marathon Major in London.
His 2:01:25 was the second-fastest marathon in history in April, falling 16 seconds short of Kipchoge’s mark. He did, however, score the course record, while also once again showcasing his trademark finishing speed, clocking a 59:45 closing half.
Who is Hassan?
Hassan, who was born in Ethiopia and represents the Netherlands internationally, is one of the most decorated women in distance running history. Her crowded trophy case includes an unprecedented triple-medal at the Tokyo Olympics, where she won gold in the 5,000 meter and 10,000 meter along with a bronze in the 1,500 meters, making her the only athlete in Olympic history to win medals across a middle-distance event and both long-distance races in a single Games.
(Photo: Patrick Gorski / USA Today)