Marathon man: Contextualizing Kipchoge’s new world record

Not yet a subscriber? Sign up free below.

The marathon man

Eliud Kipchoge shattered his own world record on Sunday by some 30 seconds, racing to victory at the Berlin Marathon in a staggering 2 hours, 1 minute, and 9 seconds.

The Kenyan, seen by many as the sport’s greatest ever, ran the first half of the race in 59.51 and left the competition, as he so often does, in the dust. Indeed, Kipchoge’s nearest competitor was compatriot Mark Korir... who finished nearly 5 minutes later.

The GOAT is clear

It's hard to visualize just how incredible Kipchoge's effort really was, but the histogram above, plotting the number of finishers per minute for anyone finishing in under 6 hours, gives you some idea of Kipchoge's speed. Even amongst fellow pros at the Berlin marathon, Kipchoge is in a class of his own over the 26.2 mile distance.

Next time you’re on a treadmill and need a good fitness humbling, crank the speed up to around 21km/h and see how long you can last at Kipchoge’s marathon pace. That's if your treadmill will let you go that fast — some cap out around 20km/h.

P.S. Our favorite thing about this viz is the spike in finishers around the hour-marks. Sprinting for the finish line to get that PB!

Not yet a subscriber? Sign up free below.


Stories from this newsletter

Wynn some, lose some: Macau is opening back up
Marathon man: Contextualizing Kipchoge’s new world record
Spamalot: The rise of spam texts in the US
We and our partners use cookies and similar technologies (“Cookies”) on our website and in our newsletters for performance, analytical or advertising purposes to ensure you have the best experience on our site and/or interaction with us. To find out more about the use of Cookies, see our Cookie Notice. Please click OK if you consent to our use of Cookies or click Manage my Preferences to manage your Cookie preferences.