Tag Archives: Ronaldo da Costa

The Record-Breaking History of Berlin Marathon

With Eliud Kipchoge’s world-record race in Berlin in 2018, the course has now witnessed 11 world records.

Is Berlin the fastest marathon in the world? It certainly seems so, as 11 world records on one course is an unmatched credential.

Last year, Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya) won Berlin in a blistering time of 2:01:39, a new world record by 1 minute 18 seconds. Kipchoge’s performance marked the first time anyone has broken the 2:02 barrier in the marathon; and it was one of several barrier-breaking performances seen in Berlin. The course also witnessed the first sub-2:05, 2:04, and 2:03 marathons.

Eliud Kipchoge breaks the marathon world record at the 2018 Berlin Marathon. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Berlin has had a lock on the men’s world record since 2003, as well as hosting three break-throughs by women since 1977. Why is this such a great spot for fast times? Cool conditions, flat well-maintained roads, and carefully selected elite fields are the Berlin formula. Add in a phalanx of well-drilled pace-makers who protect and guide each aspiring record-breaker with Germanic efficiency, and you have many elements for success.

The race was founded in 1974 by a Berlin baker, Horst Milde, who combined his passion for running with a family bread and cake business that had flourished just west of the Brandenburg Gate for 300 years. His first marathon had 244 finishers, only 10 of them were women. It was won in a modest 2:44:53 on the men’s side, and 3:22:01 for the women.

Milde patiently kneaded the race like dough until it rose to become this year’s gourmet mega-dollar global-audience marathon with 44,000 sought-after starters. With Milde still a watchful presence, the race remains under the auspices of his Charlottenburg sports club, with his non-baker son Mark Milde as race director.

When Germany achieved reunification in October 1990 after 45 years of division and military occupation, the Berlin Marathon went through the previous Eastern Zone for the first time and gained a world profile as symbol of the new sense of free and open access that swept Europe.

Here, we’re looking into the stories behind the course’s 11 world records.


1977

Christa Vahlensieck (West Germany) ran a world record 2:34:47 at Berlin at a time when female runners were beginning to discover the new opportunity of the marathon, building the pressure that led to its inclusion for the 1984 Olympics. Vahlensieck was a protegée of Dr. Ernst Van Aaken, a visionary advocate for the health benefits of exercise and the endurance abilities of women.

For three years the world record had been swapped between Vahlensieck, France’s Chantal Langlacé and USA’s Jacqueline Hansen. When Vahlensieck took back the record on German soil, it was consolation for Van Aaken, who had lost both legs in an automobile accident.


ADAM DAVY – EMPICS GETTY IMAGES

1998

Ronaldo da Costa, a Brazilian, youngest of a poor family of 11, had only rarely competed outside his home country. At the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, he finished a modest 16th in the 10,000 meters. In his first visit to Berlin in 1997, he placed fifth (2:09:07), but the next year he astonishingly improved by three minutes and broke a world record that had stood for 10 years. Da Costa is the only South American, male or female, to hold the world marathon record. He became a national hero.


2001

The world began to look for the first women’s sub-2:20 marathon after Joan Benoit Samuelson slashed the world best mark down to 2:22:43 at Boston in 1983. But the barrier eluded the first generation of great Africans, even Fatuma Roba (Ethiopia), first African woman to win the Olympic marathon in 1996, and Tegla Loroupe (Kenya), first to win a big-city marathon, New York in 1994. Berlin wanted the sub-2:20 notch on its belt, and Loroupe came close there with 2:20:43 in 1999. After almost 20 years, sub-2:20 began to look like the four-minute mile before Roger Bannister.

Source: runnersworld.com

These Are the World’s Fastest Marathoners, and Marathon Courses

Below you’ll find tables detailing several marathon superlatives:

  • the 10 fastest marathoners in history on record-eligible courses;
  • the 10 fastest American marathoners in history on record-eligible courses;
  • the 10 fastest performances on record-eligible courses;
  • the fastest courses for men and women;
  • the progression of the world records since 1988.

Note that we said “on record-eligible courses.” That’s why Eliud Kipchoge is listed as the third-fastest man in history, despite his 2:00:25 run at Nike’s Breaking2 marathon in May 2017. That time doesn’t count for record purposes because standard competition rules for pacing and fluids weren’t followed. Similarly, Boston Marathon course record holder Geoffrey Mutai is listed as the tenth-fastest man in history, even though his 2:03:03 at Boston in 2011 is equal to the third-fastest time in history. Because of its point-to-point layout and too-great net elevation drop, Boston’s course doesn’t count for record purposes. (Times from it are included in the fastest-courses tables.)

Each marathoner appears on the first list, for the fastest performers in history, only once. The third set of tables, for fastest performances in history, allows for a runner to appear more than once. For example, world record-holder Paula Radcliffe appears four times in the fastest-performances list.

The tables are current as of February 26, 2018.

Above, watch Eliud Kipchoge run a 2:00.25 in the Breaking2 attempt held in Monza, Italy.

Looking for 13.1 miles? We also have a list of the world’s fastest half marathoners.

10 Fastest Marathoners on Record-Eligible Course: Men

Runner Time Pace Per Mile Marathon
Dennis Kimetto (Kenya) 2:02:57 4:41.4 Berlin, 2014
Kenenisa Bekele (Ethiopia) 2:03:03 4:41.6 Berlin, 2016
Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya) 2:03:05 4:41.7 London, 2016
Emmanuel Mutai (Kenya) 2:03:13 4:42.0 Berlin, 2014
Wilson Kipsang (Kenya) 2:03:13 4:42.0 Berlin, 2016
Patrick Makau (Kenya) 2:03:38 4:43.0 Berlin, 2011
Guye Adola (Ethiopia) 2:03:46 4:43.3 Berlin, 2017
Stanley Biwott (Kenya) 2:03:51 4:43.4 London, 2016
Haile Gebrselassie (Ethiopia) 2:03:59 4:43.7 Berlin, 2008
Mosinet Geremew (Ethiopia) 2:04:00 4:43.7 Dubai, 2018

10 Fastest Marathoners on Record-Eligible Course: Women

Runner Time Pace Per Mile Marathon
Paula Radcliffe (Great Britain) 2:15:25 5:09.9 London, 2003
Mary Keitany (Kenya) 2:17:01 5:13.6 London, 2017
Tirunesh Dibaba (Ethiopia) 2:17:56 5:15.7 London, 2017
Catherine Ndereba (Kenya) 2:18:47 5:17.6 Chicago, 2001
Tiki Gelana (Ethiopia) 2:18:58 5:18.0 Rotterdam, 2012
Mizuki Noguchi (Japan) 2:19:12 5:18.6 Berlin, 2005
Roza Dereje (Ethiopia) 2:19:17 5:18.8 Dubai, 2018
Irina Mikitenko (Germany) 2:19:19 5:18.8 Berlin, 2008
Gladys Cherono (Kenya) 2:19:25 5:19.0 Berlin, 2015
Faysa Tadese (Ethiopia) 2:19:30 5:19.3 Dubai, 2018

10 Fastest American Marathoners on Record-Eligible Course: Men

Runner Time Pace Per Mile Marathon
Khalid Khannouchi 2:05:38 4:47.5 London, 2002
Ryan Hall 2:06:17 4:49.0 London, 2008
Dathan Ritzenhein 2:07:47 4:52.4 Chicago, 2012
Abdi Abdirahman 2:08:56 4:55.0 Chicago, 2006
Meb Keflezighi 2:09:08 4:55.5 Olympic Marathon Trials, 2012
Galen Rupp 2:09:20 4:56.0 Chicago, 2017
Alberto Salazar 2:09:21 4:56.0 Fukuoka, 1983
David Morris 2:09:32 4:56.4 Chicago, 1999
Jerry Lawson 2:09:35 4:56.5 Chicago, 1997
Dick Beardsley 2:09:37 4:56.6 Grandma’s, 1981

10 Fastest American Marathoners on Record-Eligible Course: Women

Runner Time Pace Per Mile Marathon
Deena Kastor 2:19:36 5:19.5 London, 2006
Jordan Hasay 2:20:57 5:22.7 Chicago, 2017
Shalane Flanagan 2:21:14 5:23.2 Berlin, 2014
Joan Samuelson 2:21:21 5:23.5 Chicago, 1985
Amy Cragg 2:21:42 5:24.3 Tokyo, 2018
Laura Thweatt 2:25:38 5:33.3 London, 2017
Kara Goucher 2:25:53 5:33.9 New York City, 2008
Desiree Linden 2:25:55 5:33.9 Olympic Marathon Trials, 2012
Magdalena Lewy Boulet 2:26:22 5:35.0 Rotterdam, 2010
Serena Burla 2:26:53 5:36.1 Osaka, 2017

10 Fastest Marathons on Record-Eligible Course: Men

Runner Time Pace Per Mile Marathon
Dennis Kimetto (Kenya) 2:02:57 4:41.4 Berlin, 2014
Kenenisa Bekele (Ethiopia) 2:03:03 4:41.6 Berlin, 2016
Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya) 2:03:05 4:41.7 London, 2016
Emmanuel Mutai (Kenya) 2:03:13 4:42.0 Berlin, 2014
Wilson Kipsang (Kenya) 2:03:13 4:42.0 Berlin, 2016
Wilson Kipsang (Kenya) 2:03:23 4:42.4 Berlin, 2013
Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya) 2:03:32 4:42.7 Berlin, 2017
Patrick Makau (Kenya) 2:03:38 4:43.0 Berlin, 2011
Wilson Kipsang (Kenya) 2:03:42 4:43.0 Frankfurt, 2011
Dennis Kimetto (Kenya) 2:03:45 4:43.2 Chicago, 2013

10 Fastest Marathons on Record-Eligible Course: Women

Runner Time Pace Per Mile Marathon
Paula Radcliffe (Great Britain) 2:15:25 5:09.9 London, 2003
Mary Keitany (Kenya) 2:17:01 5:13.6 London, 2017
Paula Radcliffe (Great Britain) 2:17:18 5:14.2 Chicago, 2002
Paula Radcliffe (Great Britain) 2:17:42 5:15.1 London, 2005
Tirunesh Dibaba (Ethiopia) 2:17:56 5:15.7 London, 2017
Tirunesh Dibaba (Ethiopia) 2:18:31 5:17.1 Chicago, 2017
Mary Keitany (Kenya) 2:18:37 5:17.2 London, 2012
Catherine Ndereba (Kenya) 2:18:47 5:17.6 Chicago, 2001
Paula Radcliffe (Great Britain) 2:18:56 5:17.9 London, 2002
Tiki Gelana (Ethiopia) 2:18:58 5:18.0 Rotterdam, 2012

Progression of World Record Since 1988: Men

Runner Time Pace Per Mile Marathon
Belayneh Densamo (Ethiopia) 2:06:50 4:50.3 Rotterdam, 1988
Ronaldo da Costa (Brazil) 2:06:06 4:48.6 Berlin, 1998
Khalid Khannouchi (Morocco) 2:05:42 4:47.7 Chicago, 1999
Khalid Khannouchi (United States) 2:05:38 4:47.5 London, 2002
Paul Tergat (Kenya) 2:04:55 4:45.9 Berlin, 2003
Haile Gebrselassie (Ethiopia) 2:04:26 4:44.8 Berlin, 2007
Haile Gebrselassie (Ethiopia) 2:03:59 4:43.7 Berlin, 2008
Patrick Makau (Kenya) 2:03:38 4:43.0 Berlin, 2011
Wilson Kipsang (Kenya) 2:03:23 4:42.4 Berlin, 2013
Dennis Kimetto (Kenya) 2:02:57 4:41.4 Berlin, 2014

Progression of World Record Since 1988: Women

Runner Time Pace Per Mile Marathon
Tegla Loroupe (Kenya) 2:20:47 5:22.2 Rotterdam, 1998
Tegla Loroupe (Kenya) 2:20:43 5:22.0 Berlin, 1999
Naoko Takahashi (Japan) 2:19:46 5:19.8 Berlin, 2001
Catherine Ndereba (Kenya) 2:18:47 5:17.6 Chicago, 2001
Paula Radcliffe (Great Britain) 2:17:18 5:14.2 Chicago, 2002
Paula Radcliffe (Great Britain) 2:15:25 5:09.9 London, 2003

Average of Top 10 Performances in Race History: Men

Average of Top 10 Performances Marathon
1 2:03:28 Berlin
2 2:04:13 Dubai
3 2:04:34 London
4 2:04:40 Chicago
5 2:04:52 Rotterdam
6 2:05:39 Boston
7 2:05:40 Frankfurt
8 2:05:47 Amsterdam
9 2:05:57 Paris
10 2:06:05 Seoul

Average of Top 10 Performances in Race History: Women

Average of Top 10 Performances Marathon
1 2:18:26 London
2 2:19:42 Dubai
3 2:19:45 Chicago
4 2:19:52 Berlin
5 2:20:53 Boston
6 2:22:32 Frankfurt
7 2:22:36 Osaka
8 2:22:36 Beijing
9 2:22:50 Rotterdam
10 2:22:50 Paris

Source: runnersworld.com