Kelvin Kiptum, Eliud Kipchoge, Sifan Hassan and Other World Marathon Majors Course Record Holders

Kelvin Kiptum, Eliud Kipchoge, Sifan Hassan and Other World Marathon Majors Course Record Holders

Martin Moses
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
  • The world marathon majors are six of the best and most lucrative races in the world
  • Competed in different months of the year, elite athletes often flock to the six cities
  • Kelvin Kiptum currently holds the course record for two of the six marathons

Kelvin Kiptum recently sent shockwaves across the entire athletics world when he set a new men's marathon world record on October 8, 2023.

Kiptum blazed to victory at the Chicago marathon, shaving a clean 34 seconds from Eliud Kipchoge's previous record of 2:01.09, which was set a year earlier.

Kelvin Kiptum, Chicago marathon, London marathon, Tokyo marathon, New York marathon
Kelvin Kiptum celebrates after setting a new world record in men's marathon on October 8. Photo by Michael Reaves.
Source: Getty Images

He had already sent telling signs by smashing Kipchoge's course record at the London marathon in April by running the second-fastest time in history, but not many expected Kipchoge's record to bite the dust that soon.

At only 23 years of age, Kiptum now has the fastest time in history and the fastest time in two of the six world marathon majors.

The World Marathon Majors, also known as Abbott World Marathon Majors for sponsorship reasons, are a select group of lucrative marathons run in six different cities: Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago, and New York.

We take a look at who holds the course record in each of the six majors, both male and female.

1. Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo Marathon only achieved its major status in 2012, making it the youngest inductee on the list. It is usually run at the end of February or in early March, making it the first major of the season.

Both wheelchair course records were set this year by Swiss athletes.

  • Male: Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya) - 2:02:40 (2022)
  • Female: Brigid Kosgei (Kenya) - 2:16:02 (2022)
  • Wheelchair Male: Marcel Hug (Switzerland) - 1:20:57 (2023)
  • Wheelchair Female: Manuela Schär (Switzerland) - 1:36:43 (2023)

2. Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon is usually held on Patriots Day in the United States, i.e., the third Monday of April. It is a relatively hard course, especially for beginners or first-timers, with its hilly terrain, as Kipchoge felt this year.

  • Male: Geoffrey Mutai (Kenya) - 2:03:02 (2011)
  • Female: Buzunesh Deba (Ethiopia) - 2:19:59 (2014)
  • Wheelchair Male: Marcel Hug (Switzerland) - 1:17:05 (2023)
  • Wheelchair Female: Manuela Schar (Switzerland) - 1:28:17 (2017)

3. London Marathon

As already mentioned, Kiptum introduced himself to the world by setting a new course record in the English capital this year. He did so months after running the fastest time by a debutant in Valencia.

  • Male: Kelvin Kiptum (Kenya) - 2:01:25 (2023)
  • Female: Paula Radcliffe (U.K.) - 2:15:25 (2003)
  • Wheelchair Male: Marcel Hug (Switzerland) - 1:23:44 (2023)
  • Wheelchair Female: Catherine Debrunner (Switzerland) - 1:38:24 (2022)

4. Berlin Marathon

The German course has always been favourable to Kipchoge and a host of other elite runners. It is considered the fastest course of the six, with the Olympics reporting that 12 world records have been set there, including what is now the second-fastest time in marathon history. It is held in the last week of September.

  • Male: Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya) - 2:01:09 (2022)
  • Female: Tigist Assefa (Ethiopia) - 2:11:53 (2023)
  • Wheelchair Male: Heinz Frei (Switzerland) - 1:21:39 (1997)
  • Wheelchair Female: Catherine Debrunner (Switzerland) - 1:36:47 (2018)

5. Chicago Marathon

Held in October every month, it is similarly a fast course, boasting the fastest time in men's marathon history at the moment. All the course records were set this year.

  • Male: Kelvin Kiptum (Kenya) - 2:00:35(2023)
  • Female: Sifan Hassan (Netherlands) - 2:13:44(2023)
  • Wheelchair Male: Marcel Hug (Switzerland) - 1:22:37. (2023)
  • Wheelchair Female: Catherine Debrunner (Switzerland) - 1:38:44 (2023)

6. New York Marathon

This is the biggest marathon in the world in terms of numbers, with over 50,000 participants taking part in the 2023 edition.

  • Male: Tamirat Tola (Ethiopia) - 2:04:58 (2011)
  • Female: Margaret Okayo (Kenya) - 2:22:31 (2003)
  • Wheelchair Male: Marcel Hug (Switzerland) - 1:26:26 (2022)
  • Wheelchair Female: Susannah Scaroni (United States) - 1:42:43 (2022)

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What Hellen Obiri earned for winning New York Marathon

Sports Brief had earlier reported that Hellen Obiri won her second marathon of 2023 after crossing the finish line first in the women's New York City Marathon on Sunday.

Apart from winning the marathon, the Kenyan star took home a sizable amount of money as a reward for her excellent performance.

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Martin Moses
Martin Moses is a sports journalist with over five years of experience in media. He graduated from Multimedia University of Kenya (Bachelor of Journalism, 2017-2021)
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