Two hours, one minute and 39 seconds.
That’s how long, or little, it took Kenyan superstar runner Eliud Kipchoge to cover the 42.2km of the Berlin Marathon – and smash the world record in the process by a staggering 78 seconds.
Unsurprisingly, the news travelled around the globe at lightning speed, including in Kenya and the diaspora where jubilant citizens, celebrities and leaders took to Twitter to hail their sporting hero and celebrate his remarkable feat.
An AMAZING Race and a DOUBLE KENYAN vIctory as @EliudKipchoge broke the #WorldRecord with 2:01:39 at the #BerlinMarathon as Kenya swept the Men's race in a 1,2,3 finish while Gladys Cherono beat out two Ethiopians to win in 2:18:11…..HONGERA to all! Let's Go, KENYA, LET'S GO! pic.twitter.com/Mw83px9GUE
— Jeff Koinange, MBS (@KoinangeJeff) September 16, 2018
— Victor Wanyama (@VictorWanyama) September 16, 2018
Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge wins 2018 #BerlinMarathon, shatters marathon's record – set by Kenyan Dennis Kimetto in 2014. And Kenya’s Gladys Cherono wins women’s edition of #BerlinMarathon, smashing course record. What happened to Ethiopia? Has Kenya finally broken Ethiopia’s back? pic.twitter.com/Wu3zbwUqtY
— Charles Onyango-Obbo (@cobbo3) September 16, 2018
The World record has been broken 5 times and all of them have been achieved in Berlin with 3 Kenyans breaking it😎🇰🇪.
Patrick Kamau 2011
Wilson Kipsang 2013
Dennis Kimetto 2014
& now Eliud Kipchoge
Class and Kenya go hand in hand when it comes to marathons.#berlinmarathon
— Elijah Ouko (@elijah_ouko) September 16, 2018
We salute you Eliud Kipchoge. pic.twitter.com/Oo2EVU5HVG
— Oliver Mathenge (@OliverMathenge) September 16, 2018
Just a casual selfie with the World Record Holder @EliudKipchoge. He conquered Berlin in 2 hours 1 minute 39 seconds. What a wonderful day to be a Kenyan 💃🏽 #BerlinMarathon #ProudlyKenyan pic.twitter.com/dJRIjLYru0
— Mukami Wambora (@MukamiWambora) September 16, 2018
Kipchoge, 33, is regarded as the greatest marathon runner of the modern era.
He burst onto the international sporting scene at the age of 18, winning the U20 race at the World Cross Country Championships in 2003.
In 2012, he started his marathon career with a victory in Germany’s Hamburg. The former 5,000-meter race world champion has won 11 of the 12 marathons he has run, including at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Kipchoge’s feat, his third win in Berlin, beats the previous world record set by fellow Kenyan runner Dennis Kimetto in 2014.
His only marathon defeat so far was also in Berlin in 2013, when he was defeated by former world record holder and fellow Kenyan, Wilson Kipsang.
Kipchoge’s run on Sunday was the biggest improvement on the marathon mark since Australian Derek Clayton took almost two and a half minutes off the record in 1967.
A proud Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta congratulated Kipchoge, and his fellow countrymen – second-placed Amos Kipruto and third-placed Wilson Kipsang – as the Kenyan trio made a podium sweep.
“Congratulations Eliud Kipchoge for breaking the world record at the Berlin marathon 2018. I also congratulate his compatriots Amos Kipruto & Wilson Kipsang for going out valiantly to bring a 1-2-3 victory for #TeamKenya. You are our heroes. Kenya is proud of you,” Kenyatta wrote on Twitter.
Many Kenyans saw in Kipchoge’s victory a temporary relief from the problems the country has been facing recently.
In the midst of all that's been happening lately in the country, Eliud Kipchoge makes me a proud Kenyan. If his win didn't give you chills, I don't know what will. Proudly Kenyan!
— John 🇰🇪 (@Weru_Jay) September 16, 2018
My land is Kenya east or west kenya is good,mafuta yapande yashuke,my land is Kenya,cudos kipchoge you have made us forget that fuel is still high keeeeeeenya my land @KoinangeJeff @Hot_96Kenya #SmokinCountryOnHot #SmokinCountryOnHot
— Kelvin Gachima (@KGachima) September 16, 2018
People we're having a whole heap of issues in kenya but at least we have something to celebrate about. Congrats Kipchoge and #teamkenya
— John Moses 🌍 (@jon_mosense) September 16, 2018