Kelvin Kiptum Breaks the World Record at the Chicago Marathon 2023

Marathon runner at the finish line and the silhouette of Chicago

Key Takeaways

  • Kelvin Kiptum, a 23-year-old long-distance runner from Kenya, broke the men’s marathon world record at the 2023 Chicago Marathon with a time of 2:00:35.
  • Kiptum now holds three of the top six fastest marathons ever run, solidifying his position as the new king of the marathon race after Eliud Kipchoke.

The New Record: Kiptum’s Historic Run

Kelvin Kiptum, a 23-year-old Kenyan athlete, set a new world record for the marathon in Chicago in 2023 with a time of 2:00.35.

Kiptum became the first person to run a marathon in under two hours and one minute. He broke Eliud Kipchoge‘s 2022 Berlin Marathon world record of 2:01:09.

“The record was not in my mind today,” Kiptum said at the finish of the 26.2-mile (42.2-kilometer) race.

He mainly aimed for the Chicago marathon course record of 2:03.45, which Kenya’s Dennis Kimetto ran in 2013.

“On the way, I knew I was running a course record, but luckily, it was also a world record,” continued Kiptum.

Kiptum and Daniel Mateiko (also from Kenya) crossed the 30k mark at 1:26:31, but then Kiptum raced the rest of the race alone to the clock.

Kiptum didn’t even chase the record with all his might, as he greeted the crowd with air kisses before the finish line. He reached the finish line with his hands up, celebrating the victory.

The favorable weather significantly impacted his performance, providing ideal running conditions.

Furthermore, his adept use of pacing strategies, a crucial aspect of marathon running, allowed him to efficiently manage his energy.

  • Kiptum, 23, has run three marathons in his career and won them all.
  • He ran the Valencia marathon last year in 2:01:53, and last April in London, he improved his record to 2:01:25.
  • Kiptum holds 3 of the top 6 fastest marathons ever run, so he really is the new king of the marathon race.

Women’s Race

Sifan Hassan won the women’s race with 2:13:44. She is an Ethiopian-born Dutch long-distance runner.

Ethiopian Tigst Assefa had set the women’s marathon world record to 2:11:53 just two weeks before the Chicago Marathon in Berlin. Sifan Hassan clocked the second-fastest women’s marathon time.

Chicago Marathon 2023 Overview

The 2023 edition of the Chicago Marathon drew in nearly 50,000 participants from all 50 states and over 100 countries. This was the record number of participants in the iconic race.

Chicago is a relatively flat course and has previously been the medium for five world records.

American Khalid Khannouchi was the last man to run a world record in Chicago in 1999 (2:05:42). Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei was the last woman to set a world record in Chicago in 2009 (2:14:04).

Kiptum’s Journey Toward Sub-Two-Hour Marathon

What is next for Kiptum? Eliud Kipchoge has predicted that the world record will soon drop to under 2 hours, and Kiptum will likely be the one to rewrite the history books.

With the win of Chicago in 2 hours and 35 seconds, he nears the 2-hour barrier.

Kipchoge ran 26.2 miles in under two hours in a special event in Vienna, Austria. However, it was not a record-eligible race.

In a recent interview at, Kiptum said that the world record was outside the plan for Chicago, but he knows that he can run under 2:00 in the future.

Impact of Advanced Running Shoes on Marathon Records

Recent advances in shoe technology coincided with the men’s and women’s marathon world records being broken multiple times in recent years.

Nike was the first mover in so-called supershoes or carbon shoes, but rivals have caught up. The real showdown is between the big manufacturers, Nike and Adidas.

  • Kiptum and Kipchoke are on the Nike team.
  • In his world record run in Chicago, Kiptum wore Nike Alphafly 3 shoes.
  • Tigst Assefa, the women’s record holder, is on the Adidas team.

So Nike and Adidas dominate the world records this year.

Supershoes with carbon plates and advanced cushioning offer improved running efficiency. These shoes have sparked controversy, with critics arguing they offer an unfair advantage.

As shoe technology continues to evolve, the future of marathon records remains unpredictable, potentially seeing more frequent record-breaking performances.

Spectator Experience at the Chicago Marathon

Race organizers expected more than 1 million spectators to line city streets along the marathon route. Kiptum really gave something in return for the viewers of this 45th Chicago Marathon (the race began in 1977).

It is so fun to see Chicago come alive and everyone cheering on this special running weekend.

The 26.2-mile course takes runners across six Chicago River bridges, stretching as far north as Sheridan Road and DuSable Lake Shore Drive while heading as far south as 35th Street.

There are many great spots for spectators in Chicago to cheer on the runners.

The Top Finishers of the Chicago Marathon 2023

Top men’s finishers at the 2023 Chicago Marathon

  1. Kelvin Kiptum (KEN), 2:00:35
  2. Benson Kipruto (KEN), 2:04:02
  3. Bashir Abdi (BEL), 2:04:32
  4. John Korir KEN), 2:05:09
  5. Seifu Tura Abdiwak (ETH), 2:05:29
  6. Conner Mantz (USA), 2:07:47
  7. Clayton Young (USA), 2:08:00
  8. Galen Rupp (USA), 2:08:48
  9. Sam Chelanga (USA), 02:08:50
  10. Takashi Ichida (JPN), 02:08:57

Top women’s finishers at the 2023 Chicago Marathon

  1. Sifan Hassan (NED), 2:13:44
  2. Ruth Chepngetich (KEN), 2:15:37
  3. Megertu Alemu (ETH), 2:17:09
  4. Joyciline Jepkosgei (KEN), 2:17:23
  5. Tadu Teshome Nare (ETH), 2:20:04
  6. Genzebe Dibaba Keneni (ETH), 2:21:47
  7. Emily Sisson (USA), 2:22:09
  8. Molly Seidel (USA), 2:23:07
  9. Rose Harvey (GBR), 02:23:21
  10. Sara Vaughn (USA), 2:23:24

You can find all the results here:

The Prize Money: What the Elite Finishers Earn in Chicago Marathon

In addition to the glory and recognition, you’re probably wondering what kind of prize money the elite finishers will walk away with.

Overall, the top five finishers in the open division and the top ten in the wheelchair division come away with prize money.

The breakdown for the open division is as follows:

1st Place: $100,000
2nd Place: $75,000
3rd Place: $50,000
4th Place: $30,000
5th Place: $25,000

The prize money breakdown for the first five finishers in the wheelchair division is as follows:

1st Place: $25,000
2nd Place: $18,000
3rd Place: $12,000
4th Place: $7,000
5th Place: $5,000

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