Kelvin Kiptum Shatters Marathon World Record at the Chicago Marathon, Only his Third Ever


Kelvin Kiptum, the 23-year-old Kenyan sensation, etched his name in marathon history with a remarkable performance at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon this morning. 

In a stunning display of athleticism, Kiptum secured a convincing victory and shattered the world record set by the legendary Eliud Kipchoge. As the world watched in awe, Kiptum crossed the finish line in an astonishing time of 2:00:35, eclipsing Kipchoge’s previous record of 2:01:09.

Remarkably, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon was only Kiptum’s second major marathon appearance. 

He burst onto the international stage earlier this year at the London Marathon, where he not only claimed victory but also came within just 16 seconds of the world record, finishing in 2:01:25

His rapid rise in the marathon world left spectators and experts intrigued and eager to witness his future performances.

Kiptum’s extraordinary achievement in Chicago marked a significant milestone in his burgeoning career, surpassing Kipchoge‘s world record by an impressive 34 seconds. This remarkable feat was made all the more astonishing considering Kiptum’s limited marathon experience prior to his London debut.

Before his groundbreaking performance at the London Marathon, Kiptum had participated in just one other marathon – the Valencia Marathon in the previous year. 

In Valencia, he also made history by running the fastest debut marathon ever, finishing in a jaw-dropping time of 2:01:53. These early accomplishments hinted at his immense potential as a marathon runner.

The favorable conditions in Chicago, with ideal temperatures and a lack of wind, provided Kiptum with the perfect setting to make history. 

From the outset, he set an astonishing pace, completing the first 5k in a blistering 14:26, a pace that his pacer and competitors struggled to match. 

Running much of the race on his own, Kiptum reached the halfway point in just 1:00:48, 11 seconds behind the world record pace.

Kiptum maintained a steady pace throughout the race, around 2:54/km. 

Only in the final 10 kilometers did he unleash a surge of speed. He blazed through the 35-kilometer mark in 13:51 and the 40-kilometer mark in 14:01, with only the challenging ascent of the Chicago Marathon course remaining.

Upon conquering the final hill and catching sight of the finish line, Kiptum was overcome with a sense of accomplishment and jubilation. 

In a post-race interview with NBC5 Chicago, he expressed his joy: “A world record was not in my mind today…but I knew one day, one time, I would be a world record holder.” 

His self-belief and unwavering determination had finally paid off.

As he crossed the finish line, Kiptum was greeted with cheers from the crowd and a warm embrace from Carey Pinkowski, the Executive Race Director of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. 

Kiptum’s compatriot, Benson Kipruto, the 2022 champion, finished four minutes behind him in a time of 2:04:02, while Belgium’s Bashir Abdi completed the podium, crossing the line in 2:04:32.

Kelvin Kiptum’s remarkable achievement in Chicago will be remembered as a watershed moment in the world of marathon running. With his astonishing speed, he has carved out a place for himself among the greatest athletes in the history of the sport, and he has only just begun.

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Jessy has been active her whole life, competing in cross-country, track running, and soccer throughout her undergrad. She pivoted to road cycling after completing her Bachelor of Kinesiology with Nutrition from Acadia University. Jessy is currently a professional road cyclist living and training in Spain.

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