Kenyan Runner Shatters World Running Record During His Third Marathon
— 10 October 2023

Kenyan Runner Shatters World Running Record During His Third Marathon

— 10 October 2023
Nick Kenyon
Nick Kenyon

It was only a fortnight ago that Ethiopian Tigst Assefa obliterated the women’s marathon world record in Berlin. But this week, another remarkable running feat was achieved at the Chicago Marathon. Kenyan runner Kelvin Kiptum broke the men’s marathon world record with a time of 2:00:35 — lowering the previous fastest time set by the mythical Eliud Kipchoge by more than half a minute.

It’s an incredible run for a number of reasons, not least of which is the fact it’s the fastest a human being has ever run 42.2 kilometres. Firstly, this was only the third marathon that Kiptum had ever run. His first race occurred in December 2022 when he achieved what was then the third-fastest marathon time of all time (2:01:53).

Remarkably, less than a year later, he shaved nearly a minute and a half off his personal best on the way to breaking the world record, running a world-class 2:01:25 this past April. Now, at the age of 23, he’s the first person to ever break the 2:01:00 barrier. Which even Kipchoge hasn’t achieved given his world record time was 2:01:09.

Another remarkable story from this race is how it shows the almost unbelievable depth of the Kenyan distance running field.

While Kipchoge is a household name thanks to a number of documentaries about his running career and successes, most who don’t closely follow distance running will never have heard of Kiptum; who only made his international debut in 2019 (half marathon, 59:54). In fact, he’s only ever run 14 international running events on the road — plus a handful of 10,000-metre races on the track — one of which was the fastest-ever debut marathon.

For a local comparison, the current Australian half marathon record (held by the legendary Brett Robinson) is three seconds slower than Kiptum’s international debut. Things only get more jaw-dropping when you consider Kiptum’s debut was more than five minutes faster than the Aussie marathon record (also held by Robinson at 2:07:31).

While most of us would struggle to get through even half a kilometre at this pace, Kiptum somehow maintained 2:50/km for the entire marathon, inking his name within the history books in the process.

Here’s a breakdown of the Kelvin Kiptum marathon record splits throughout the race:


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Nick Kenyon
Nick Kenyon is the Editor of Boss Hunting, joining the team after working as the Deputy Editor of luxury watch magazine Time+Tide. He has a passion for watches, with other interests across style, sports and more. Get in touch at nick (at)


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