Dennis Kimetto, true to his word, breaks the world record: A View from Kenya, by Justin Lagat

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Kimetto, Mutai, Kamworor, the race is on, BMW Berlin Marathon, photo by PhotoRun.net


In a spectacular race, Dennis Kimetto broke all and set a WR of 2:02.57, becoming the first man under two hours, three minutes in the marathon. Here is Justin Lagat's comments on Kimetto's new WR. 
Dennis Kimetto, true to his word, breaks the world record, by Justin Lagat

When I visited him some five days ago to interview him regarding his preparations for the Berlin Marathon, it suddenly hit me -amid the interview- that the world record was actually certain to fall. The interview was short as he is a man of few words, but the confidence he had about going for the record convinced me almost beyond doubt that the record was as good as gone, and in fact I wrote down six points in my last column as to why I expected a new world record to be set in Berlin by Dennis Kimetto today.

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Kimetto breaks Mutai, photo by PhotoRun.net

The race was one of the most exciting marathon races that I have ever watched. The pace makers were doing a tremendous job. Kimetto himself had assured me during the interview that he had great confidence in those pace makers as he had been involved in their selection and had even been training most of the time with one of them at Kapng'etuny. "We were given slow pace makers at the Chicago Marathon last year and we do not want the same this time round, we want to be sure about the pace setters," he had told me, and surely the pace makers did some splendid work crossing the halfway point in 61:45, which was merely 5 seconds from the requested time of 61:40.

Watching the race was tense even after the midway as almost all the top eight elite runners were still all there at the lead. No one could be sure what was to happen next in that group.

But, as soon as the pace setters finished their part, Emmanuel Mutai cranked up the pace a little bit and was able to remain only with Geoffrey Kamworor and Kimetto at the lead. They quickly started gaining some seconds and staying safely ahead of the world record pace. It was after the 35km mark that the fact that the record was going to be broken slowly became a reality to many, only that it was not yet clear who, between Kimetto and Mutai, was the one to break it. Kamworor who would have improved his personal best time greatly had he maintained his position with the leaders soon started to lose ground on his countrymen.

In the end, Dennis Kimetto emerged the winner smashing the old record and setting a new one of 2:02.57 followed by Emmanuel Mutai in 2:03.13 which was also faster than the earlier record by ten seconds. It was the first time anyone ran under 2:03.00, becoming another major milestone in the history of marathon running.

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Dennis Kimetto sets WR of 2:02.57, BMW Berlin Marathon, 
photo by PhotoRun.net

For now, the question now is: For how long will this record remain standing? Who is the man likely to break it again in the near future?

As to where Dennis Kimetto will be in action next after recovering from the Berlin Marathon, he plans on participating in cross country events locally hoping to make the Kenyan team for the world cross country championships in China next early next year. 

But his main focus is on the London Marathon in April.

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