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Patrick Makau of Kenya breaks the marathon world record in Berlin

Kenyan long-distance runner Patrick Makau has set a new world record in the marathon in the German capital, winning in a time of 2:03:38.



Patrick Makau of Kenya broke the marathon world record on Sunday at the Berlin Marathon. Makau, the defending marathon champion in Berlin, pulled away about halfway through the race, finishing in 2 hours, 3 minutes and 38 seconds.

The 26-year-old beat the previous world record of 2:03:59 set by Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie in the same marathon in 2008.

The Berlin marathon, known for its flat, even course, has seen more world records for men and women than any other marathon in the world. The race is one of the five World Marathon Majors.

Facing the greatest

When Makau broke away midway through the race, Gebrselassie pulled up and seemed on the verge of giving up, only to resume running. But the legend tired later and was not able to complete the race.

Makau told German broadcaster N-TV that knowing he was going up against such a great runner as Gebrselassie, he wasn't counting on victory.

"I was expecting a lot of challenge from Haile," Makau said. "I was expecting maybe to gain a lot of experience but not to win."

Kenya swept the men's race, with Stephen Kwelio Chemplany coming in second with 2:07.55 and Edwin Kimaiyo coming in third with 2:09.50.

The fastest woman also came from Kenya. Florence Kiplagat won the women's marathon with 2:19.44. Germany's Irina Mikitenko came in second with 2:22.18 and Britain's Paula Radcliffe came in third with 2:23.46.

Some 40,000 other runners joined these elite runners on the flat Berlin course. Sunday's run took place in sunny, mild conditions.


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