When the Berlin Marathon begins it's time to go on world record watch, because in recent years there's been about a 50-50 chance that someone will break a world mark in the annual event. On Sunday, Kenya's Wilson Kipsang became the eighth marathoner in the past 15 years to top the world marathon record in Berlin, as he won the race in 2:03:23. Patrick Makau set the previous mark of 2:03:38 in the 2011 Berlin race.
Kipsang entered the race as the second-fastest marathoner in history, having finished the Frankfurt Marathon in 2:03:42 shortly after Makau set his record.
With the help of pacemakers Edwin Kiptoo and Philemon Rono on Sunday, the field hit the halfway mark in 1:01.32. Kipsang, Eliud Kipchoge and Geoffrey Kipsang - no relation to Wilson - soon trotted away from the field, along with Rono, who lasted until the 35-kilometer mark. Although he'd remained near the front, Wilson Kipsang didn't lead until Rono left. Kipsang was running slightly behind the world-record pace at that point, but by 40K he was a bit ahead with enough left in reserve to slice 15 seconds off Makau's mark. Kipsang's record is subject to the standard IAAF verification procedures.
Kipsang said afterward that he may not have reached his peak. "If I prepare very well ... I still think I have the potential to run faster."
Kipchoge was a strong runnerup in his second marathon, finishing in 2:04:05, while another Kenyan, Florence Kiplagat, won the women's race in 2:21:13.