World Marathon Record : How long could you keep up the pace?

Marathon WR pace

The quest to shatter the world marathon record is relentless, with the elusive sub-2-hour mark in an official race setting the ultimate benchmark. Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya currently clinches the world marathon record, a title he earned with his triumphant performance at the Berlin Marathon in 2022, clocking in at 2 hours, 1 minute, and 9 seconds. This achievement translates to an average velocity of 20.9 km/h across the full distance of 42.195 km, equating to a brisk pace of 2 minutes and 52 seconds per kilometer.

To offer you a perspective on the extraordinary speed maintained by the world’s elite marathoners and the current world record, we invite you to estimate how long you might manage to keep pace with the record-holder.

How long could you keep up with Eliud Kipchoge’s Marathon World Record?

In an effort to illustrate just how challenging it is to match the pace of the world marathon record, we’ve drawn up a comparison based on various levels of athletic ability.

  • 10 meters: 1.7 seconds – Virtually anyone
  • 50 meters: 8.5 seconds – Suitable for a child or an active individual
  • 100 meters: 17 seconds – Attainable for a casual athlete
  • 200 meters: 34 seconds – Within reach for an occasional runner
  • 400 meters: 1 minute and 8 seconds – Achievable by a community-level runner
  • 800 meters: 2 minutes and 17 seconds – A mark for a competent regional female runner
  • 1000 meters: 2 minutes and 52 seconds – Comparable to a skilled soccer player or a talented regional youth runner (aged 15)
  • 1500 meters: 4 minutes and 18 seconds – The pace of an experienced national-level veteran runner
  • 3000 meters: 8 minutes and 36 seconds – Possible for a seasoned regional runner
  • 5km: 14 minutes and 21 seconds – The speed of an elite French runner or a female Olympic medalist
  • 10km: 28 minutes and 42 seconds – A time typical among France’s top 10km runners
  • Half marathon: 1 hour, 0 minutes, and 34 seconds – Standard for a professional half marathon athlete

It’s noteworthy that Eliud Kipchoge also completed the marathon distance (42.195 km) in 1 hour, 59 minutes, and 41 seconds in Vienna during a special event in 2019. Regrettably, this performance wasn’t officially recognized as a world record due to the assistance he received from a rotating team of pacemakers and a pace car designed to minimize wind resistance. Despite this, Kipchoge’s effort remains a monumental achievement, showcasing a speed of 21.1 km/h, or a pace of 2 minutes and 50 seconds per kilometer, a testament to the extraordinary capabilities of elite marathoners.

How long could you keep up with Marathon World Record holder Paula Radcliffe? 

British athlete Paula Radcliffe notably held the women’s marathon world record with a time of 2 hours, 15 minutes, and 25 seconds, set in London in 2003. This record was surpassed in 2019 by Kenyan Brigid Kosgei, who finished the Chicago Marathon in 2 hours, 14 minutes, and 4 seconds.

To offer a perspective on what it takes to compete at these elite levels, we present a comparison of how long various individuals might keep pace with Radcliffe’s record-setting speed:

  • 50 meters: 9.5 seconds – Within reach for virtually anyone
  • 100 meters: 19 seconds – Achievable by a child or an active adult
  • 200 meters: 38 seconds – Manageable for an occasional female athlete
  • 400 meters: 1 minute and 16 seconds – Attainable for a casual female runner
  • 800 meters: 2 minutes and 33 seconds – The pace of a female runner at the departmental level
  • 1000 meters: 3 minutes and 11 seconds – Comparable to a proficient female soccer player or a strong regional junior female runner (aged 15)
  • 1500 meters: 4 minutes and 46 seconds – The speed of a seasoned national veteran female runner
  • 3000 meters: 9 minutes and 32 seconds – Within the capability of a national-level female runner
  • 5km: 15 minutes and 53 seconds – The pace of a female national medalist
  • 10km: 31 minutes and 46 seconds – A time required for Olympic qualification
  • Half marathon: 1 hour, 7 minutes, and 2 seconds – Standard for a professional female half-marathon athlete

The RunMotion Coach app

Twin brothers Romain and Guillaume Adam, the innovative minds behind the RunMotion Coach app, set an inspiring example during the 2019 Paris Marathon. Leading the pack for 2.2 km and 4 km, respectively, they maintained an impressive pace of 2 minutes and 58 seconds per kilometer before completing the marathon in 2 hours and 52 minutes, despite battling cramps.

Eager to elevate your own marathon performance with a tailored training approach? Consider downloading the RunMotion Coach app. While shattering the world marathon record might be a stretch, enhancing your personal best with a customized marathon training plan is well within reach. Get ready to outdo yourself and smash your records with confidence! 😉

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Mailis Durif-VarambonMailis grew up in the mountains, where she went hiking and biking every weekend. She loves outdoor activities where she can relax at the end of the day. At RunMotion Coach, she is responsible for communication management.