On a beautiful day for running in Berlin, Dennis Kimetto won his second major marathon title and locked up the World Marathon Majors prize. Oh, and he also became the first human to break 2:03. That's 4:42 per mile for 26 miles.
After ditching the pacing rabbits around the 20 mile mark, Kimetto, Emmanuel Mutai and Geoffrey Kaworor — who were already under world record pace — accelerated over the next four miles, guaranteeing either a new world record or the need for three ambulances.
Kaworor was the first to drop back, and Mutai eventually assumed his usual runner-up position (six times in major marathons). Kimetto slowed slightly at the end, but was able to get in three seconds under the mark, with a 2:02:57. Mutai's second place time was also under the previous world record, set here last year by Wilson Kipsang.
Kimetto's win will certainly reignite the debate over how close we really are to a sub-two hour marathon. Conventional wisdom (and science and math) would say that we are still a long way off from two hours, but this morning's race will give the skeptics something to think about.
On the women's side, American Shalane Flanagan failed in her attempt to break the American record, but did run a personal best 2:21 for third place.