Kenyan athlete Kelvin Kiptum’s groundbreaking marathon performance in Chicago last year has been officially recognized by World Athletics, as his remarkable feat of breaking the 2-hour-and-1-minute barrier has been ratified.
Kiptum, who seized the limelight at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 8, etched his name in history by slashing 34 seconds off the previous world record, clocking an astonishing time of 2:00:35.
Kiptum’s extraordinary achievement marks the first instance of an athlete surpassing the 2:01 milestone in a record-eligible marathon, eclipsing the previous world record of 2:01:09 set by his compatriot Eliud Kipchoge in Berlin on September 25, 2022.
From the outset, Kiptum demonstrated unwavering determination as he relentlessly pushed the pace throughout the grueling race in Chicago. Surging ahead from a closely contested lead group after completing the initial 5 kilometers in 14:26, Kiptum, accompanied by fellow Kenyan Daniel Mateiko, maintained a blistering pace, setting a scorching tempo that put them on course for a world record at the 10-kilometer mark, clocking 28:42. Despite a slight drop in pace, they reached the halfway point in an impressive 1:00:48.
The defining moment of the race came as Kiptum unleashed a decisive surge after the 30-kilometer mark, breaking away from Mateiko with a surge in speed. Posting an astonishing 5-kilometer split of 13:51, Kiptum stormed through the 35-kilometer checkpoint in 1:40:22, maintaining an electrifying pace that put him well ahead of the world record target, leading Mateiko by a remarkable 49 seconds.
Undeterred by the grueling challenge, Kiptum exhibited unwavering determination, blazing through the 40-kilometer mark in 1:54:23, propelled by a remarkable 10-kilometer split of 27:52. His relentless pursuit of excellence culminated in an emphatic victory, as he crossed the finish line in a record-shattering time of 2:00:35, clinching the title with a commanding lead of almost three and a half minutes.
Reflecting on his historic achievement, Kiptum expressed overwhelming joy, stating, “I knew I was coming for a course record, but a world record – I am so happy. A world record was not on my mind today, but I knew one day I would be a world record-holder.”