Sunday September 27th, 2015

Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya ran the 11th fastest marathon performance of all-time to win the 2015 Berlin Marathon in 2:04:01.

At the 2014 Berlin Marathon, Kenyan Dennis Kimetto set the world record of 2:02:57, shaving 26 seconds off countryman Wilson Kipsang’s mark set the previous year on the same course.

This is the first time that the world record has not been set in a Berlin Marathon victory since Kenya’s Geoffrey Mutai won 2012.

Kenya's Eliud Kiptanui finished second in 2:05:22. Ethiopia's Feyisa Lelisa rounded out the podium with 

After attacking the first 15 kilometers of the race faster than Kimetto's splits from the previous year, the field crossed the half-marathon marker in 61:53, which was much slower than the anticipated 61:30 and also eight seconds behind Kimetto's 61:45 first-half. Kimetto ran the second half of the 2014 Berlin Marathon in 61:12. Running 61:03 in the second half of the race for a world record on Sunday was too tall of an order. 

Kipchoge's biggest move came when he surged for a 2:48 split at the 32nd kilometer. Despite the insoles of his shoes coming out for most of the race, Kipchoge took off to clock a 14:23 5K split between the 30th and 35th kilometer.

Kipchoge won April’s London Marathon in 2:04:42 over Kipsang and Kimetto after also taking the 2014 Chicago Marathon in 2:04.11. He was selected by Track and Field News as the world’s best marathoner in 2014 and with his win on Sunday morning, he is the favorite to repeat for the title.

Kipchoge also moved into the lead of the World Marathon Majors standings, which factors the best marathon performances at the Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago, New York marathons. Kipchoge's victories in London and Berlin have him atop with 50 points. The winner will be decided after the 2016 Tokyo Marathon. 

Kenyan Emmanuel Mutai, best known for his second place finishes at the London Marathon (three times), New York City Marathon (twice) and the Chicago and Berlin Marathons, finished in 2:07:46 for fourth place.

Just three years removed from his own victory in Berlin, Kenyan Geoffrey Mutai (no relation to Emmanuel) finished in 2:09:29 for fifth place after being dropped by the lead pack at the 30-kilometer mark.

Matt Llano of the Northern Arizona Elite Training Group in Flagstaff, Ariz. was the top American with a personal best of 2:12:28. His next 26.2-mile race will come on February 13 as the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials will determine the three runners sent to compete at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Since there are no Olympic marathon trials for Kenya, Athletics Kenya, the country’s governing body for track and field, will select three athletes based on recent performances. At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, the country took silver and bronze in the marathon.

It would be difficult to pass up Kipchoge, who has fared well at the World Marathon Majors with victories in Chicago and London. He would make his third Olympic team after winning bronze at the 2004 Olympics in the 5,000-meter run before earning silver at the 2008 Olympics in the same event. Kipchoge was not selected for this summer’s IAAF World Championships in Beijing.

The woman's race was won by Gladys Cherono of Kenya in 2:19:25 for a new world leading time for 2015.

Cherono, running just her second marathon and first World Marathon Major, became the 19th woman to run under 2:20.

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