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Marathon world record holder Kelvin Kiptum from Kenya said that he will target breaking the two-hour mark at the 2024 Rotterdam Marathon. The event takes place on April 14. The course is flat and fast and offers up a legitimate opportunity to run well there.

“It’s fast. I will try to beat my world record there.”

Kiptum’s personal best was run on October 8 at the Chicago Marathon. He won in the time of 2:00:35, breaking fellow Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge’s world record of 2:01:09 which he ran in Berlin in Sept. 2022.

The 23-year-old Kiptum burst onto the marathon scene in Dec. 2022 winning the Valencia Marathon in his debut by clocking a 2:01:53 performance for the fourth-fastest performance in history. Only Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele had run faster. It was just 10 months later that Kiptum won Chicago.

“…and if I am close to the two-hour mark, why not try to break it?”

On Oct. 12, 2019, Kipchoge attempted to break the two-hour mark in a time trial effort. He pulled it off in Vienna, Austria running 1:59:40, however, the performance did not count due to the race being a one-man solo effort with pacers, a pace car with a clock that buffered the wind.

Previously, in 2017, Kipchoge made an attempt at the Monza race track at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza in Italy on May 6, 2017. He missed in that first go clocking 2:00:25.

The Rotterdam Marathon has been run since 1981 (cancelled in 2020 due to covid). The course record is 2:03:36 by former Somalian, now Belgian, Bashir Abdi. Only six times in the event’s history has sub-2:10:00 not been breached, typically due to less-than-ideal race conditions. The 2021 Rotterdam performance is Abdi’s lifetime personal best.

Kiptum and Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands are the 2022-2023 Abbott World Marathon Majors champions as they earned 50 points each within the six eligible major marathon competitions, which include Boston, London, New York, Tokyo, Berlin and Chicago.

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