Men's marathon world record progression

This list is a chronological progression of record times for the marathon. World records in the marathon are now ratified by the International Association of Athletics Federations, the international governing body for the sport of athletics. The IAAF world record for men, subject to ratification, is 2:03:23, set by Wilson Kipsang of Kenya on September 29, 2013 at the Berlin Marathon.[1][2] The IAAF world record for women is currently 2:15:25, set by Paula Radcliffe of the United Kingdom on April 13, 2003 at the London Marathon.[1]

As noted below, a marathon performance must meet certain criteria to be eligible for ratification as a world record. In recognizing Kenyan Geoffrey Mutai's mark of 2:03:02 at the 2011 Boston Marathon as "the fastest Marathon ever run", the IAAF has noted: "Due to the elevation drop and point-to-point measurements of the Boston course, performances [on that course] are not eligible for World record consideration."[3] The IAAF Congress at 2011 World Championships in Athletics passed a motion changing the record eligibility criteria effective January 2012, so that women's world records must be set in all-women competitions.[4] The result of the change was that Radcliffe's 2:17:42 performance at the 2005 London Marathon would supplant the current women's mark as the "world record"; the earlier performance was to be referred to as a "world best".[4] The decision was met with strong protest and in November 2011 an IAAF council member reported that Radcliffe's original mark would be allowed to stand with terminology for "side-by-side" still to be worked out.[5]

Criteria for record eligibility

In order for a performance to be ratified as a world record by the IAAF, the marathon course on which the performance occurred must be 42.195 kilometers[6] and measured in a defined manner using the calibrated bicycle method[7] and meet other criteria that rule out "artificially fast times" produced on courses aided by downhill slope or tailwind.[8] The criteria include:

  • "The start and finish points of a course, measured along a theoretical straight line between them, shall not be further apart than 50% of the race distance."[6]
  • "The decrease in elevation between the start and finish shall not exceed an average of one in a thousand, i.e. 1m per km.[6]

Road racing events like the marathon were specifically excepted from IAAF rule 260 18(d) that rejected from consideration those track and field performances set in mixed competition.[6]

The Association of Road Racing Statisticians, an independent organization that compiles data from road running events, also maintains an alternate marathon world best progression but with standards they consider to be more stringent.[9][10]

Performances claiming world best or world record status on "point-to-point" courses such as the Boston Marathon have historically been rejected by USA Track & Field.[11] Performances on these courses could be aided by slope and/or tailwinds.[12]

History

Marathon races were first held in 1896, but the distance was not standardized by the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) until 1921.[13][14] The actual distance for pre-1921 races frequently varied slightly from the present figure of 42.195 km (26 miles 385 yards). In qualifying races for the 1896 Summer Olympics, Greek runners Kharilaos Vasilakos (3:18:00) and Ioannis Lavrentis (3:11:27) won the first two modern marathons.[15] On April 10, 1896, Spiridon Louis of Greece won the first Olympic marathon in Athens, Greece in a time of 2:58:50;[16] however, the distance for the event was reported to be only 40,000 meters.[17][nb 1] Three months later, British runner Len Hurst won the inaugural Paris to Conflans Marathon (also around 40 km) in a time of 2:31:30.[19] In 1900, Hurst would better his time on the same course with a 2:26:28 performance.[nb 2] Later, Shizo Kanakuri of Japan was reported to have set a world record of 2:32:45 in a November 1911 domestic qualification race for the 1912 Summer Olympics, but this performance was also run over a distance of approximately 40 km.[23][nb 3] The first marathon over the now official distance was won by American Johnny Hayes at the 1908 Summer Olympics.[25]

It is possible that Stamata Revithi, who ran the 1896 Olympic course a day after Louis, is the first woman to run the modern marathon.[26] The IAAF credits Violet Piercy's 1926 performance as the first woman to race what is now the standard marathon distance; however, other sources report that the 1918 performance of Marie-Louise Ledru in the Tour de Paris set the initial mark for women.[9][27][28][29] Other "unofficial" performances have also been reported to be world bests or world records over time. Although her performance is not recognized by the IAAF, Adrienne Beames from Australia is frequently credited as the first woman to break the 3-hour barrier in the marathon.[30][nb 4]

In the 1953 Boston Marathon, the top three male finishers were thought to have broken the standing world record,[32] but Keizo Yamada's mark of 2:18:51 is now considered to have been set on a short course.[33] The Boston Athletic Association does not report Yamada's performance as a world best.[34] On October 25, 1981, American Alberto Salazar and New Zealander Allison Roe set apparent world bests at the New York City Marathon (2:08:13 and 2:25:29); however, these marks were invalidated when the course was later found to have been nearly 150 meters short.[35][36] Although the IAAF's progression notes three performances set on the same course in 1978, 1979, and 1980 by Norwegian Grete Waitz, the Association of Road Racing Statisticians considers the New York City course suspect for those performances, too.[37]

On April 18, 2011, Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya ran the fastest marathon ever in a time of 2:03:02, albeit on the Boston course, which does not meet the criteria for record attempts.[38] Countryman Moses Mosop ran the second-fastest time ever (2:03:06) on the same course and day as Mutai.

Eight world records have been set at the Polytechnic Marathon (1909, 1913, 1952–54, 1963–65).[39] World records have been broken at all five World Marathon Majors on numerous occasions; seven times at the Berlin Marathon, three times at the Boston Marathon, and four times each at the Chicago, London, and New York City Marathons. However, the records established in the Boston event have been disputed on grounds of a downhill point-to-point course, while three of the four New York records have been disputed on grounds of a short course.

Men

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Table key:
      Listed by the International Association of Athletics Federations as a world best prior to official acceptance[40]
      Ratified by the International Association of Athletics Federations as a world best (since January 1, 2003) or world record (since January 1, 2004)[40]
      Recognized by the Association of Road Racing Statisticians[41]

Time Name Nationality Date Event/Place Source Notes
2:55:18.4 Johnny Hayes  United States July 24, 1908 London, United Kingdom IAAF[40] Time was officially recorded as 2:55:18 2/5.[42] Italian Dorando Pietri finished in 2:54:46.4, but was disqualified for receiving assistance from race officials near the finish.[43] Note.[44]
2:52:45.4 Robert Fowler  United States January 1, 1909 Yonkers,[nb 5] United States IAAF[40] Note.[44]
2:46:52.8 James Clark  United States February 12, 1909 New York City, United States IAAF[40] Note.[44]
2:46:04.6 Albert Raines  United States May 8, 1909 New York City, United States IAAF[40] Note.[44]
2:42:31.0 Henry Barrett  United Kingdom May 26, 1909[nb 6] Polytechnic Marathon, London, United Kingdom IAAF[40] Note.[44]
2:40:34.2 Thure Johansson  Sweden August 31, 1909 Stockholm, Sweden IAAF[40] Note.[44]
2:38:16.2 Harry Green  United Kingdom May 12, 1913 Polytechnic Marathon IAAF[40] Note.[48]
2:36:06.6 Alexis Ahlgren  Sweden May 31, 1913 Polytechnic Marathon IAAF[40] Report in The Times claiming world record.[49] Note.[48]
2:38:00.8 Umberto Blasi  Italy November 29, 1914 Legnano, Italy ARRS[41]
2:32:35.8 Hannes Kolehmainen  Finland August 22, 1920 Antwerp, Belgium IAAF,[40] ARRS[41] The course distance was officially reported to be 42,750 meters/26.56 miles,[50] however, the Association of Road Racing Statisticians estimated the course to be 40 km.[18]
2:29:01.8 Albert Michelsen  United States October 12, 1925 Port Chester, United States IAAF[40] Note.[51]
2:30:57.6 Harry Payne  United Kingdom July 5, 1929 London ARRS[41]
2:26:14 Son Kitei  Empire of Japan[52] March 21, 1935 Tokyo, Japan ARRS[41]
2:27:49.0 Fusashige Suzuki  Empire of Japan March 31, 1935 Tokyo, Japan IAAF[40] According to the Association of Road Racing Statisticians, Suzuki's 2:27:49 performance occurred in Tokyo on March 21, 1935 during a race in which he finished second to Sohn Kee-chung (sometimes referred to as Kee-Jung Sohn or Son Kitei) who ran a 2:26:14.[53]
2:26:44.0 Yasuo Ikenaka  Empire of Japan April 3, 1935 Tokyo, Japan IAAF[40] Note.[54]
2:26:42 Son Kitei  Empire of Japan[52] November 3, 1935 Tokyo, Japan IAAF[40] Note.[54]
2:25:39 Suh Yun-bok  Korea April 19, 1947 Boston Marathon IAAF[40] Disputed (short course).[55] Disputed (point-to-point).[56] Note.[57]
2:20:42.2 Jim Peters  United Kingdom June 14, 1952 Polytechnic Marathon IAAF,[40] ARRS[41] MarathonGuide.com states that the course that was slightly long.[58] Report in The Times claiming world record.[59]
2:18:40.4 Jim Peters  United Kingdom June 13, 1953 Polytechnic Marathon IAAF,[40] ARRS[41] Report in The Times claiming world record.[59]
2:18:34.8 Jim Peters  United Kingdom October 4, 1953 Turku Marathon IAAF,[40] ARRS[41]
2:17:39.4 Jim Peters  United Kingdom June 26, 1954 Polytechnic Marathon IAAF[40] Point-to-point course. Report in The Times claiming world record.[60]
2:18:04.8 Paavo Kotila  Finland August 12, 1956 Pieksämäki, Finland ARRS[41]
2:15:17.0 Sergei Popov  Soviet Union August 24, 1958 Stockholm, Sweden IAAF,[40] ARRS[41] The ARRS notes Popov's extended time as 2:15:17.6[41]
2:15:16.2 Abebe Bikila  Ethiopia September 10, 1960 Rome, Italy IAAF,[40] ARRS[41]
2:15:15.8 Toru Terasawa  Japan February 17, 1963 Beppu-Ōita Marathon IAAF,[40] ARRS[41]
2:14:28 Leonard Edelen  United States June 15, 1963 Polytechnic Marathon IAAF[40] Point-to-point course. Report in The Times claiming world record and stating that the course may have been long.[61]
2:14:43 Brian Kilby  United Kingdom July 6, 1963 Port Talbot, Wales ARRS[41]
2:13:55 Basil Heatley  United Kingdom June 13, 1964 Polytechnic Marathon IAAF[40] Point-to-point course. Report in The Times claiming world record.[62]
2:12:12.2 Abebe Bikila  Ethiopia October 21, 1964 Tokyo, Japan IAAF,[40] ARRS[41]
2:12:00 Morio Shigematsu  Japan June 12, 1965 Polytechnic Marathon IAAF[40] Point-to-point course. Report in The Times claiming world record.[63]
2:09:36.4 Derek Clayton  Australia December 3, 1967 Fukuoka Marathon IAAF,[40] ARRS[41]
2:08:33.6 Derek Clayton  Australia May 30, 1969 Antwerp, Belgium IAAF[40] Disputed (short course).[64]
2:09:28.8 Ron Hill  United Kingdom July 23, 1970 Edinburgh, Scotland ARRS[41]
2:09:12 Ian Thompson  United Kingdom January 31, 1974 Christchurch, New Zealand ARRS[41]
2:09:05.6 Shigeru So  Japan February 5, 1978 Beppu-Ōita Marathon ARRS[41]
2:09:01 Gerard Nijboer  Netherlands April 26, 1980 Amsterdam Marathon ARRS[41]
2:08:18 Robert De Castella  Australia December 6, 1981 Fukuoka Marathon IAAF,[40] ARRS[41]
2:08:05 Steve Jones  United Kingdom October 21, 1984 Chicago Marathon IAAF,[40] ARRS[41]
2:07:12 Carlos Lopes  Portugal April 20, 1985 Rotterdam Marathon IAAF,[40] ARRS[41]
2:06:50 Belayneh Dinsamo  Ethiopia April 17, 1988 Rotterdam Marathon IAAF,[40] ARRS[41]
2:06:05 Ronaldo da Costa  Brazil September 20, 1998 Berlin Marathon IAAF,[40] ARRS[41]
2:05:42 Khalid Khannouchi  Morocco October 24, 1999 Chicago Marathon IAAF,[40] ARRS[41]
2:05:38 Khalid Khannouchi  United States April 14, 2002 London Marathon IAAF,[40] ARRS[41] First "World's Best" recognized by the International Association of Athletics Federations.[65] The ARRS notes Khannouchi's extended time as 2:05:37.8[41]
2:04:55 Paul Tergat  Kenya September 28, 2003 Berlin Marathon IAAF,[40] ARRS[41] First world record for the men's marathon ratified by the International Association of Athletics Federations.[66]
2:04:26 Haile Gebrselassie  Ethiopia September 30, 2007 Berlin Marathon IAAF,[40] ARRS[41]
2:03:59 Haile Gebrselassie  Ethiopia September 28, 2008 Berlin Marathon IAAF,[40] ARRS[41] The ARRS notes Gebrselassie's extended time as 2:03:58.2[41]
2:03:38 Patrick Makau  Kenya September 25, 2011 Berlin Marathon IAAF,[67] IAAF[68]
2:03:23 Wilson Kipsang  Kenya September 29, 2013 Berlin Marathon IAAF[69] Pending mark subject to ratification.[70]

Women

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      Ratified by the International Association of Athletics Federations as a world best (since January 1, 2003) or world record (since January 1, 2004)[40]
      Recognized by the Association of Road Racing Statisticians[41]

Time Name Nationality Date Event/Place Source Notes
5:40:xx Marie-Louise Ledru  France September 29, 1918 Tour de Paris Marathon ARRS[41]
3:40:22 Violet Piercy  United Kingdom October 3, 1926 London [nb 7] IAAF[40] The ARRS indicates that Piercy's 3:40:22 was set on August 2, 1926 during a time trial on a course that was only 35.4 km.[41]
3:37:07 Merry Lepper  United States December 16, 1963[nb 8] Culver City, United States IAAF[40] Disputed (short course).[76]
3:27:45 Dale Greig  United Kingdom May 23, 1964 Ryde IAAF,[40] ARRS[41]
3:19:33 Mildred Sampson  New Zealand July 21, 1964[nb 9] Auckland, New Zealand IAAF[40] Disputed by ARRS as a time trial.[41][80][81]
3:15:23 Maureen Wilton  Canada May 6, 1967 Toronto, Canada IAAF,[40] ARRS[41] The ARRS notes Wilton's extended time as 3:14:22.8[41]
3:07:27.2 Anni Pede-Erdkamp  West Germany September 16, 1967 Waldniel, West Germany IAAF,[40] ARRS[41] The ARRS notes Pede-Erdkamp's extended time as 3:07:26.2[41]
3:02:53 Caroline Walker  United States February 28, 1970 Seaside, OR IAAF,[40] ARRS[41]
3:01:42 Elizabeth Bonner  United States May 9, 1971 Philadelphia, United States IAAF,[40] ARRS[41]
2:55:22 Elizabeth Bonner  United States September 19, 1971 New York City Marathon IAAF,[40] ARRS[41]
2:49:40 Cheryl Bridges  United States December 5, 1971 Culver City, United States IAAF,[40] ARRS[41]
2:46:36 Michiko Gorman  United States December 2, 1973 Culver City, United States IAAF,[40] ARRS[41] The ARRS notes Gorman's extended time as 2:46:37[41]
2:46:24 Chantal Langlacé  France October 27, 1974 Neuf-Brisach, France IAAF,[40] ARRS[41]
2:43:54.5 Jacqueline Hansen  United States December 1, 1974 Culver City, United States IAAF,[40] ARRS[41] The ARRS notes Hansen's extended time as 2:43:54.6[41]
2:42:24 Liane Winter  West Germany April 21, 1975 Boston Marathon IAAF[40] Disputed (point-to-point).[56]
2:40:15.8 Christa Vahlensieck  West Germany May 3, 1975 Dülmen IAAF,[40] ARRS[41]
2:38:19 Jacqueline Hansen  United States October 12, 1975 Eugene, United States IAAF,[40] ARRS[41]
2:35:15.4 Chantal Langlacé  France May 1, 1977 Oiartzun, Spain IAAF[40]
2:34:47.5 Christa Vahlensieck  West Germany September 10, 1977 Berlin Marathon IAAF,[40] ARRS[41]
2:32:29.8 Grete Waitz  Norway October 22, 1978 New York City Marathon IAAF[40] Disputed (short course).[37][82]
2:27:32.6 Grete Waitz  Norway October 21, 1979 New York City Marathon IAAF[40] Disputed (short course).[37][83]
2:31:23 Joan Benoit  United States February 3, 1980 Auckland, New Zealand ARRS[41]
2:30:57.1 Patti Catalano  United States September 6, 1980 Montreal, Canada ARRS[41]
2:25:41.3 Grete Waitz  Norway October 26, 1980 New York City Marathon IAAF[40] Disputed (short course).[37][84]
2:30:27 Joyce Smith  United Kingdom November 16, 1980 Tokyo, Japan ARRS[41]
2:29:57 Joyce Smith  United Kingdom March 29, 1981 London Marathon ARRS[41]
2:29:01.6 Charlotte Teske  West Germany January 16, 1982 Miami, United States ARRS[41]
2:26:12 Joan Benoit  United States September 12, 1982 Eugene, United States ARRS[41]
2:25:28.7 Grete Waitz  Norway April 17, 1983 London Marathon IAAF,[40] ARRS[41]
2:22:43 Joan Benoit  United States April 18, 1983 Boston Marathon IAAF[40] Disputed (point-to-point).[56]
2:24:26 Ingrid Kristiansen  Norway May 13, 1984 London Marathon ARRS[41]
2:21:06 Ingrid Kristiansen  Norway April 21, 1985 London Marathon IAAF,[40] ARRS[41]
2:20:47 Tegla Loroupe  Kenya April 19, 1998 Rotterdam Marathon IAAF,[40] ARRS[41]
2:20:43 Tegla Loroupe  Kenya September 26, 1999 Berlin Marathon IAAF,[40] ARRS[41]
2:19:46 Naoko Takahashi  Japan September 30, 2001 Berlin Marathon IAAF,[40] ARRS[41]
2:18:47 Catherine Ndereba  Kenya October 7, 2001 Chicago Marathon IAAF,[40] ARRS[41]
2:17:18 Paula Radcliffe  United Kingdom October 13, 2002 Chicago Marathon IAAF,[40] ARRS[41] First "World's Best" recognized by the International Association of Athletics Federations.[65] The ARRS notes Radcliffe's extended time as 2:17:17.7[41]
2:15:25 Paula Radcliffe  United Kingdom April 13, 2003 London Marathon IAAF,[40] ARRS[41] First world record for the women's marathon ratified by the International Association of Athletics Federations.[85] The ARRS notes Radcliffe's extended time as 2:15:24.6[41]

Gallery of marathon world record holders

Notes

References

External links

  • Interactive graph of men's and women's marathon times plus race descriptions
fr:Marathon (sport)#Records
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