Dennis Kimetto clocked a world record 2 hours, 2 minutes, 57 seconds, to win the Berlin Marathon on Sunday, becoming the third Kenyan to break the 26.2-mile mark in the German capital in the last four years.
Kimetto, 30, bettered the record set by Wilson Kipsang last year by 26 seconds. Patrick Makau ran 2:03:38 in 2011. The 2-hour barrier continues to come into closer view.
Kimetto broke free from countryman Emmanuel Mutai in the final 5km, crossing the finish line with his arms in the air near the Brandenburg Gate. Kimetto also won the 2013 Tokyo and 2013 Chicago Marathons.
Mutai, the 2011 London Marathon winner, also beat the previous world record by finishing second in 2:03:13. Mutai has finished second in Berlin, Chicago, London, New York City and the World Championships.
Kimetto finished second in the 2012 Berlin Marathon in 2:04:16, the fastest marathon debut ever.
Kimetto dropped out of this year’s Boston Marathon on April 21 due to a hamstring injury after being one of the pre-race favorites. Meb Keflezighi went on to become the first U.S. man to win Boston since 1983.
Keflezighi and Kipsang will run the 2014 New York City Marathon on Nov. 2.
Ethiopian Tirfi Tsegaye won the women’s race in Berlin. Shalane Flanagan failed to accomplish her goal of breaking the American record and finished third in a personal best, 2:21:14. Deena Kastor has the American record of 2:19:36.
“I put everything I had to it,” Flanagan said. “I went big. I left everything I had on the course. As you could tell, I was struggling the last 5km to keep my momentum. Sometimes we have to push ourselves and put ourselves out there and be subject to failure before we have the big, breakthrough success.”