Kelvin Kiptum Just Set a New Marathon World Record

His Chicago Marathon win was one for the record books

Kelvin Kiptum
Kelvin Kiptum of Kenya celebrates after winning the 2023 Chicago Marathon professional men's division and setting a world record marathon time of 2:00.35.
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

On October 8, the 2023 edition of the Chicago Marathon took place, and it was literally one for the record books. That’s largely due to Kelvin Kiptum, who finished first in the race — and, in doing so, set a new record for marathons by completing the course in 2:00:35. As The Athletic’s Mark Puleo notes, that’s over 30 seconds faster than the previous record time in a marathon, which Eliud Kipchoge set in Berlin last year with 2:01:09.

In the last year and a half, Kiptum has accomplished a number of impressive distance running feats, including finishing both the Valencia Marathon and the London Marathon in under 2:02. As Puleo writes, the fact that Kiptum has managed this at the age of 23 suggests even bigger achievements could be in his future.

Kiptum’s record time was impressive, but it wasn’t the only landmark finish on Sunday. Sifan Hassan set a new women’s record for the Chicago course with 2:13:44, which is also one of the fastest marathon times set by a female runner, full stop.

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The last few years have seen a number of running records being broken; Kiptum and Hassan’s feats this weekend in Chicago are among the highest-profile examples of this, though they’re far from alone. If we are in the midst of a seismic shift as far as what might be possible in terms of running milestones, it’s not entirely clear why — though Alex Hutchinson recently explored some possibilities in an Outside article. For those of us who enjoy being awed by athletic bravado, however, there’s plenty to savor.

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