Marathon dates back to 490 BC. The first marathon was held in commemoration of Soldier Pheidippides. Marathon is a sport that requires different talents and skills, and not everyone can such long distance without preparation. Highlighted below are some of the top 5 best marathon runners.
1. Eliud Kipchoge
Currently, Eliud Kipchoge is regarded as the fastest man of earth. In all the marathons has raced in, Eliud has only lost Once; against Kipsang Wilson when he set the world record in 2013. Majority of Eliud’s races are under 2:05:00.
In addition, he is now the world record holder at 2:00:25 in the Breaking2 project. This is the closest anyone has ever gotten to snub the 2-hour marathon. Undoubtedly, Eliud Kipchoge is the King of Marathon. In fact, many regard him as an alien, a man from another world.
2. Haile Gebrselassie
Currently, Haile is the president of Ethiopia Athletics Federation. In modern day, Haile is considered a modern day legend when it comes to long distance track and field running. Haile has a long list of illustrious records to his name in a career that spanned over 20 years.
Haile is a two-time Olympic gold medalist for 10,000 meters at the 1996 and 2000 games. Additionally, he set 27 word records in total during his reign. However, when it comes to marathons, Haile won a half marathon championship in 2001 alongside 9 other major marathons. One of his peak performance was at the age of 35 in 2008 Berlin Marathon. During this time, Haile clocked 2:03:59.
3. Paul Kibii Tergat
Tergat is considered as one of the most accomplished and influential long distance runners of all time. He held the world record in marathon from 2003 to 2007 with a course time record on 2:04:55. In addition, Tergat is known to make Saint Silvestre Maratahon, one of the most prestigious marathons in Latin America his own.
He won the race for a record five times. Due to this, he is also one of the most celebrated African personality in Brazil after Mandela Nelson. Another feature that makes Tergat to be regarded as one of the famous marathoner is his IAAF World Cross Country Championship title for five consecutive times.
4. Abebe Bikila
Bikila is mostly known for winning his first Olympic gold medal while running barefoot. Besides, he is won the Olympic champion twice. Even more, during this race, he set a new world record on the way.
Additionally, in 1964 summer Olympics he notched another record and became the first person to defend his Olympic marathon title. Besides, he also set a new world record. Bikila’s Olympic victory in 1964 is featured in the 1965 documentary film Tokyo Olympiad. Due to his success and legacy, a stadium in Addis Ababa is named after him, to honor him.
5. Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich
Wilson Kipsang is a specialist in long distance running, he started off his career with 10km marathon race. He holds a merit of being the first runner to break the two-hour and five-minute mark in marathon for a record five times.
Additionally, Wilson Kipsang is regarded as one of the best form record holder. His best performance came in 2013 when clocked 2:02:23. Before the Berlin marathon, however, he won bronze medal in 2012 at the London Olympics. In addition, in 2014, Kipsang set a new course record of 2:04:29. From 2010 to 2014, Wilson had a golden run where he won 11 races back to back.