Kenyan Makes History: World's Fastest Marathon

Haile Gebrselassie passes down the torch for the world record

By Sara Dover
|  Monday, Sep 26, 2011  |  Updated 8:23 AM EDT
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For Kenyan runner Patrick Makau, 21 seconds made all the difference when he shattered the world record for the fastest men's marathon.

The 26-year-old clocked in at two hours three minutes 38 seconds during the Berlin marathon. Makau beat Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie, who set the record for the world's fastest marathon in the same race three years ago, by nearly a third of a minute, Reuters reports.

"What I can say is that we have started a new generation in marathon running," Makau told reporters. "This is the greatest day of my running life."

"When I woke up today my body didn't feel very good but at 25 kilometers I felt I could break the world record," he said about running the 41.195 km race (26 miles and 385 yards).

Gebrselassie has dominated world-wide competition as the greatest distance runner for an era of two decades, The Associated Press reports. But in this competition, the 38-year-old struggled after the 27-kilometer mark (17 miles) and quit shortly after the 35th kilometer.

By then, Makau was two minutes ahead and sped through the rest of the marathon alone in the front.

"I want to congratulate Patrick Makau with his WR, it is great to see a new generation and I would love to race them for some time," Gebrselassie tweeted.

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