Fastest Marathon Runners in History

Fastest Marathon Runners in History

Did you know that the marathon is race in commemoration of Pheidippides, a legendary Greek messenger? The story goes that he ran about 25 miles from the battlefield at Marathon to Athens in 490 BC. He then announced a great Greek victory over the Persians and died.

The Olympics marathon is a long-distance running event with an official distance of 42.195 kilometers or 26 miles. More than 500 marathons are held throughout the world each year, with a large number of participants being recreational athletes. Interestingly, the world records for women in distance running are between 10-12% slower than men.

Below is a compilation of the fastest marathon runners in history, and the time in which they completed the races;

1. Denis Kimetto, 2:02:57 in 2014

Dennis Kimetto from Kenya set the current world record of 2:02:57 in Berlin, in 2014. Kimetto is a 31 year old long distance runner, who also won the Tokyo and Chicago Marathons in 2013.

2. Emmanuel Mutai, 2:03:13, in 2014

Emmanuel Mutai is a 30 year old Kenyan long distance runner. He is the second fastest man ever in the marathon race. He won the Amsterdam Marathon in 2007, and won a silver medal in the 2009 world championships. In 2014, he also set a world record at the 30K race.

3. Wilson Kipsang, 2:03:23, in 2013

Wilson Kipsang, 33 years of age is the 3rd fastest marathon runner, and is a Kenyan athlete. He was the bronze medalist at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

4. Patrick Makau, 2:03:38, in 2011

Patrick Makau is a 30 year old Kenyan athlete, who has also won silver at the 2007 IAAF World Road Running Championships and 2008 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships.

5. Haile Gebrselassie, 2:03:59 in 2008

Haile Gebrselassie is a 42 year old retired Ethiopian Athlete; he won the Berlin Marathon four times consecutively, and also three consecutive wins at the Dubai Marathon. In 2008, he won the Berlin Marathon, breaking his previous world record by 27 seconds. He is considered one of the greatest distance runners in history.

6. Eliud Kipchoge 2:04:05, in 2013

Eliud Kipchoge, a 30 year old Kenyan athlete broke the world record in the Berlin Marathon of 2013.

7. Geoffrey Mutai, 2:04:15,in 2012

Geoffrey Mutai, is a 33 year old Kenyan long distance athlete. In 2011 Mutai ran the second fastest marathon ever in the Boston Marathon.

8. Ayele Abshero, 2:04:23 in 2012

Ayele Abshero is a 24 year old Ethipian long distance runner, who won the silver medal in the 2012 Berlin marathon, and recorded the 8th fastest timing in the history of the marathon.

9. Duncan Kibet 2:04:27 in 2009

Duncan Kibet, a 37 year old Kenyan athlete won the 2009 marathon in Rotterdam, and is the 9th fastest marathoner together with James Kwambai, also of Kenya who recorded the same time in the 2009 marathon.

10. James Kwambai, 2:04:27 in 2009

James is a 32 year old Kenyan runner, whose personal best record in 2009 makes him the 9th fastest marathoner, jointly with Duncan Kibet.

Africa, The Capital of Runniers


The 10 fastest Marathon Runners ever are from East Africa, and have consistently held the marathon record in the last 8 years. Their physiological statistics are not the best ever measured in the lab. Factors that enhance their advantage are that they tend to be of smaller stature, have been physically active from childhood, live at high altitude, and train incredibly hard.

It is projected that the ideal optimal estimated running time for the marathon is 1:58:00. The current trend of a consistently declining running time started in 2007 with Haile Gebrselassie’s time of 2:04:26, since when the record has been broken five times, and fallen by close to 90 seconds. This trend suggests that the projection to have the ideal time attained in 10 to 15 years is on track, and athletes are headed to attaining the shortest running time ever anticipated.

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