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This international athletic governing board only started recording world record times
in 2004, and they have established strict, continually-evolving rules about what
races and times count as world records. Many early records have been negated or disregarded
because their distances fall short based upon standardizations put in place in 1921;
these include the requirement that a course must be exactly 42.195K, and must be
calibrated via the bicycle method.
Some of the most recent changes to the criteria involve disqualifications of races
for inclusion in world record statistics based on elevation drops, tailwinds, or
what they term "artificially fast time" factors. Because of this, a record-breaking
2:03:02 time in the Boston Marathon by Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya was recorded as "fastest
marathon ever run," but not as a world record breaking time.
Marathon World Record Time Women
Similarly, although women have been running modern marathons since the 1896 Athens
Olympics, when Stamata Revithi unofficially ran the men's marathon course the day
after the official race was held, the IAAF continues to make adjustments to what
qualifies women's marathon times as world record setting. As of January 2012, in
order for a woman's marathon time to be recorded as a world record, it can only be
set in an all-women's event. The current women's world record for the marathon was
set at the London Marathon in 2003 by Paula Radcliffe of the U.K., who ran one of
the best marathons ever seen with a 2:15:25 time.
Marathon World Record Berlin
The current men's marathon world record was set in September 2011 by Patrick Makau
of Kenya; he ran a 2:03:38 race at the Berlin Marathon. Berlin has been the site
of more marathon world records being set than any other marathon since the demise
of the Polytechnic Marathon in London, where eight world records had been set; the
Berlin Marathon's course attracts over 40,000 runners, and is flat and fast with
large crowds of cheering spectators and mild autumn weather. It is one of the five
most popular, best marathons in the world, along with New York City, Chicago, Boston
Marathon World Record Pace
If you are in the midst of your first marathon training, you may be wondering how
marathon paces have dropped so dramatically in the last 100+ years.
Average pacing for male marathoners now hovers around 4:45, and race splits for the
most successful marathon runs show the second half of many marathoners' runs actually
drop by seven seconds.
The main factors that have influenced the times recorded, besides the talent of the
athletes themselves, have been in preparation, course, the caliber of the competition,
and the weather.
Marathon World Record
Marathon World Record 2011
The marathon was instituted in commemoration of the legendary long distance run
from Marathon to Athens in ancient times. The first modern Olympic marathon was run
in 1896, though that race was only 40,000 meters in length; the race distance was
not standardized until later.
Since marathon race times have been kept, the world record time has dropped by over
thirty percent, from 2:55:18 to the most recently set record of 2:03:38.
Looking at the progression of times and the variables that contribute to a runner's
success is valuable whether you are in the midst of your first marathon training
or looking to see which are the best marathons to watch.
Marathon World Record Time
A record-breaking marathon time does not necessarily count as a world record time.
In order for a race time to count, it must be approved and ratified by the IAAF,
the International Association of Athletic Federations. Continued below....