Cleave Books
World Records for Marathon (Men)
YearDatePlaceAthleteNationality Time
1908   July 24thLondonJohnny Hayes USA2h 55m 19s
1909January 1stYonkers, New York   Robert Fowler USA2h 52m 46s
1909February 12thNew YorkJames Clark USA2h 46m 53s
1909May 8thNew YorkAlbert Raines USA2h 46m 5s
1909May 26thLondonFred Barrett GB2h 42m 31s
1913May 31stLondonAlexis Ahlgren Sweden2h 36m 7s
1920August 22ndAntwerpHannes Kolehmainen   Finland2h 32m 36s
1925October 12thPort Chester, USAAl Michelsen USA2h 29m 2s
1935March 31stTokyoFusashige Suzuki Japan2h 27m 49s
1935April 3rdTokyoYasuo Ikenaka Japan2h 26m 44s
1935November 23rdTokyoSohn Kee-Chung Korea2h 26m 42s
1947April 19thBostonYun Bok Suh Korea2h 25m 39s
1952June 11thChiswick, UKJim Peters GB2h 20m 43s
1953June 13thChiswick, UKJim Peters GB2h 18m 41s
1953October 4thTurku, FinlandJim Peters GB2h 18m 35s
1954June 26thChiswick, UKJim Peters GB2h 17m 40s
1958August 24thStockholmSergey Popov USSR2h 15m 17s
1963February 17thBeppu, JapanToru Terasawa Japan2h 15m 16s
1963June 15thChiswick, UKBuddy Edelen USA2h 14m 28s
1964June 13thChiswick, UKBasil Heatley GB2h 13m 55s
1964October 21stTokyoAbebe Bikila Ethiopia2h 12m 12s
1965June 12thChiswick, UKMorio Shigematsu Japan2h 12m 0s
1967December 3rdFukuoka, JapanDerek ClaytonAustralia2h 9m 37s
1969May 30thAntwerpDerek Clayton Australia2h 8m 34s
1981December 6thFukuoka, JapanRobert de CastellaAustralia2h 8m 18s
1984October 21stChicagoSteve Jones GB2h 8m 5s
1985April 20thRotterdamCarlos Lopes Portugal2h 7m 12s
1988April 17thRotterdamBelayneh DinsamoEthiopa2h 6m 50s
1998September 20thBerlinRonaldo da CostaBrazil2h 6m 5s
1999October 24thChicagoKhalid KhannouchiUSA2h 5m 42s
2002April 14thLondonKhalid KhannouchiUSA2h 5m 38s
2003September 28th   BerlinPaul TergatKenya2h 4m 55s
NOTE. Some cautions are necessary when comparing times in this event.
The marathon has one major difference from nearly all other athletics events in that it
is run over 'ordinary' roads rather than a regular track and this has two distinct effects:
1. Though every effort is made to run the race over level ground and the start and finish,
being at the same place, ensure that the total distance travelled 'uphill' is the same as the
total distance travelled 'downhill' it is unlikely that these two effects cancel each other out.
2. The distance should be 26 miles 385 yards or 42,195 metres but, because of the physical
constraints of using existing roads, the distances covered may not be exactly the same.
However, the variation from this is not likely to exceed one-half of one per cent
(which is equivalent to about 4 seconds in 2 hours).

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