The World’s Fastest Marathons (and Marathoners)

Mary Keitany e Edna KiplagatWhen Wilson Kipsang attempts to break the marathon world record on Sunday in Berlin, he’ll have at least one factor in his favor: Berlin is the fastest marathon course in the world for men, with an average time of 2:04:37 for the ten fastest performances in race history. (The world record is 2:03:38.)

As the elite fall marathon season gets underway, now is a good time to get up to date on the fastest marathons and marathoners in history. Below you’ll find tables listing the fastest courses for men and women, as well as the ten fastest marathoners in history on record-eligible courses, and the progression of the world records over the last 25 years.

If running fans are fortunate, by this time in November some of these stats will need updating. That said, it’s likely that next spring, the fastest women’s course will still be London (seen above).

Average of Top 10 Performances in Race History: Men

Average of Top 10 Performances Marathon
1 2:04:37 Berlin
2 2:04:48 Dubai
3 2:04:54 Rotterdam
4 2:05:15 London
5 2:05:34 Chicago
6 2:05:39 Boston
7 2:05:43 Frankfurt
8 2:06:06 Amsterdam
9 2:06:10 Paris
10 2:06:41 Eindhoven

Average of Top 10 Performances in Race History: Women

Average of Top 10 Performances Marathon
1 2:18:59 London
2 2:19:59 Chicago
3 2:20:20 Berlin
4 2:21:16 Dubai
5 2:22:28 Boston
6 2:22:36 Beijing
7 2:22:36 Osaka Ladies
8 2:22:50 Rotterdam
9 2:23:01 Paris
10 2:23:13 Frankfurt

Fastest Marathoners on Record-Eligible Course: Men

Runner Time Marathon
Patrick Makau (Kenya) 2:03:38 Berlin, 2011
Wilson Kipsang (Kenya) 2:03:42 Frankfurt, 2011
Haile Gebrselassie (Ethiopia) 2:03:59 Berlin, 2008
Geoffrey Mutai (Kenya) 2:04:15 Berlin, 2012
Dennis Kimetto (Kenya) 2:04:16 Berlin, 2012
Ayele Abshero (Ethiopia) 2:04:23 Dubai, 2012
Duncan Kibet (Kenya) 2:04:27 Rotterdam, 2009
James Kwambai (Kenya) 2:04:27 Rotterdam, 2009
Tsegay Kebede (Ethiopia) 2:04:38 Chicago, 2012
Emmanuel Mutai (Kenya) 2:04:40 London, 2011

Fastest Marathoners on Record-Eligible Course: Women

Runner Time Marathon
Paula Radcliffe (Great Britain) 2:15:25 London, 2003
Liliya Shobukhova (Russia) 2:18:20 Chicago, 2011
Mary Keitany (Kenya) 2:18:37 London, 2012
Catherine Ndereba (Kenya) 2:18:47 Chicago, 2001
Tiki Gelana (Ethiopia) 2:18:58 Rotterdam, 2012
Mizuki Noguchi (Japan) 2:19:12 Berlin, 2005
Irina Mikitenko (Germany) 2:19:19 Berlin, 2008
Aselefech Mergia (Ethiopia) 2:19:31 Dubai, 2012
Lucy Kabuu (Kenya) 2:19:34 Dubai, 2012
Deena Kastor (United States) 2:19:36 London, 2006

Progression of World Record Since 1988: Men

Runner Time Marathon
Belayneh Densamo (Ethiopia) 2:06:50 Rotterdam, 1988
Ronaldo da Costa (Brazil) 2:06:06 Berlin, 1998
Khalid Khannouchi (Morocco) 2:05:42 Chicago, 1999
Khalid Khannouchi (United States) 2:05:38 London, 2002
Paul Tergat (Kenya) 2:04:55 Berlin, 2003
Haile Gebrselassie (Ethiopia) 2:04:26 Berlin, 2007
Haile Gebrselassie (Ethiopia) 2:03:59 Berlin, 2008
Patrick Makau (Kenya) 2:03:38 Berlin, 2011

Progression of World Record Since 1988: Women

Runner Time Marathon
Tegla Loroupe (Kenya) 2:20:47 Rotterdam, 1998
Tegla Loroupe (Kenya) 2:20:43 Berlin, 1999
Naoko Takahashi (Japan) 2:19:46 Berlin, 2001
Catherine Ndereba (Kenya) 2:18:47 Chicago, 2001
Paula Radcliffe (Great Britain) 2:17:18 Chicago, 2002
Paula Radcliffe (Great Britain) 2:15:25 London, 2003

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Rachel C. , PhD
Research Scientist Consultant @ U-VIB
PhD, Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling
NREMT-P (National Registry of Paramedics)
– 911 Medic for over 15 years
– Scientist for over 7 years
– Runner for LIFE

source: Runner’s World by K Ken Nakamura

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