The year in review - Sport

A year of breaking limits

The furthest boundary of athletic talent is unknown because athletes keep extending it

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Eliud Kipchoge, 34, is the book-reading son of a single mother who was a nursery teacher from Kapsisiywa, Kenya. Raised in a time of hardship, he used to run to school and then this year he ran the impossible.

To appreciate how fast Kipchoge galloped to break the marathon world record it is best to be sitting down. He clocked 42.195km in 2hr 1min 39sec. This works out to an average of 20.8kmh and if you put the treadmill in your local gym at maximum speed it may not go that fast. Yet he ran at that pace for two hours.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 30, 2018, with the headline A year of breaking limits . Subscribe