For years, the only thing missing from Eliud Kipchoge’s marathon resume was the world record. No longer. In an astonishing performance at the 2018 BMW Berlin Marathon, Kipchoge took marathoning into a new stratosphere by clocking 2:01:39 — the first man ever under 2:02, and a full 78 seconds faster than Dennis Kimetto’s four-year-old world record.
It was a performance so far superior to anything we’ve seen before that comparing it to another marathon feels inadequate. This was Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game in basketball, Usain Bolt’s 9.58 in the 100-meter dash.
Kipchoge’s splits — 61:06 for the first half, a ridiculous 60:33 for his second half — sound made up. But they were real, and they were spectacular.