It was a great 2013 for the marathon.
The IAAF has recently reviewed the state of the sport in terms of road racing this past year.
Not surprisingly, it’s the marathon that gets the most attention. Berlin continues to be the place where records are shattered, as was evidenced by Wilson Kipsang’s performance of 2 hours, 3 minutes and 23 seconds.
In addition to Kipsang’s performance, three previous world records have been set in the German capital in the past seven years — Haile Gebrselassie in 2007 and 2008, and Patrick Makau in 2011.
A minute has been whittled off the 26.2-mile distance in the past six years and these improvements have come from racers taking more risk at the start — running faster first half-marathon splits.
Additionally, the overall depth of the marathon has increased. Nine men have gone under 2:05 in 2013 and another four more runners went under 2:06.
Surprisingly, one of these runners in 2013 who didn’t clock a fast time was Olympic gold medalist in 2012, Stephen Kiprotich.