Ethiopia’s Tigst Assefa shatters women’s world marathon record by 2 minutes

The women’s marathon world record was shattered by over two minutes by Ethiopia’s Tigst Assefa on Sunday morning at the Berlin Marathon. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Assefa ran 2:11:53 (5:02 mile pace) to break the previous record of 2:14:04 held by Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei.
  • Assefa, who won at Berlin last year as well, won Sunday’s race by nearly six minutes.
  • Prior to Kosgei’s record run in 2019, the women’s record was deemed untouchable after Britain’s Paula Radcliffe lowered it to 2:15:25 in 2003.
  • On the men’s side, Eliud Kipchoge, considered by most to be the greatest marathoner ever, won Berlin for the fourth time in his career, hanging on to win 2:02:42. He set the men’s world record in Berlin in 2022 with a time of 2:01:09.

How Assefa did it

The 26-year-old ran her first marathon in March 2022 after excelling in middle-distance track events and shorter road races. That leg turnover skill combined with her newfound marathon strength was on full display Sunday, as she ran the first 10 kilometers of the race in 31:45 to establish the record-breaking pace. She only picked up the pace from there, running a 15:41 third 5k, per, to eventually drop the entire chase pack by the halfway split.

Despite six different women running under 1:07 for the first half marathon (world record pace), none were close to Assefa. The Ethiopian put down her fastest 5k split of the day — 15:29 — at the 35k mark (just under 22 miles). — Puleo

Kipchoge’s reign continues

Just a few months after finishing a disappointing sixth place at Boston in April, Kipchoge showed that he shouldn’t be counted out yet. A couple of months before he turns 39, the Kenyan’s resume now boasts 16 marathon wins, 11 of which have come in World Majors. That doesn’t include his two Olympic gold medals.

Per, the average of his five fastest marathons is 2:02:09, a time bettered by just two other men in any single race. — Puleo

Required reading

(Photo: Andreas Gora / picture alliance via Getty Images)

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