Eliud Kipchoge Wins the 2023 Berlin Marathon

The greatest marathoner of all time further cemented his status, though he fell short of another world record.

marathon ger berlin men


Reigning world record holder Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya won the Berlin Marathon for the fifth time, in 2:02:42. Though he fell short of breaking his own world record, he does surpass Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie for the most victories in Berlin.

Following the pacemakers, Kipchoge asserted his dominance from the start, blazing through the first 5K in 14:12. Just one runner—Ethiopia’s Derseh Kindie—stuck with him; by 10K, they were a full minute ahead of the chase pack.

The pair crossed the halfway mark in 1:00:22. Kindie, who previously had a personal best of 2:08:23, held on through 30K, then dropped out shortly afterward.

So did the final pacemaker, and Kipchoge began to slow, falling off world record pace. The chase pack, led by fellow Kenyan Vincent Kipkemoi, began closing the gap, but ran out of time. Kipkemoi finished second in 2:03:13, and Tadese Takele of Ethiopia was third in 2:03:24.

Teshome Mekonen, who became a U.S. citizen in December, was the top American, placing 24th in 2:10:16. Jared Ward, who was seen running alongside women’s winner Tigist Assefa for much of the latter part of the race, was the second American, taking 27th in 2:11:44.

marathon ger berlin men

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The Berlin Marathon has been the site of some of the greatest moments of Kipchoge’s career. He has won there four times before, twice setting the world record. In 2018, he took more than a minute off the previous world record, running 2:01:39. And in 2022, he lowered it by another 30 seconds with his 2:01:09.

Kipchoge, 38, was coming off an uncharacteristically lackluster performance at the Boston Marathon in April, when he finished sixth in 2:09:23. Observers were interested to see if Kipchoge could return to his previous form or if age and multiple marathoners were—finally—starting to catch up to him.

With 18 victories in 21 of his marathon starts, which include his two attempts at breaking 2 hours, Kipchoge is considered the greatest of all time. He has two gold medals in the Olympic marathon and has won 11 World Marathon Majors.

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