Ethiopian Tops Own Marathon Record
Ethiopian breaks record in Berlin race
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 28, 2008 2:58 PM CDT
Haile Gebrselassie from Ethiopia, left, and Germany's Irina Mikitenko, right, pose after they won the 35th Berlin Marathon. Mikitenko finished in two hours, 19 minutes, 19 seconds.    (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
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(Newser) – Haile Gebrselassie broke his own marathon world record on Sunday, becoming the first runner to finish in under 2 hours, 4 minutes, the AP reports. The Ethiopian clocked 2:03:59 to win his third straight Berlin Marathon, beating the mark of 2:04:26 he set last year over the same flat course. He also became the first runner to win the race three times.

Running under clear, sunny skies in mild temperature, Gebrselassie paced himself well and controlled the race from the start. The 35-year-old was way out front as he passed through the Brandenburg Gate and ran to the finish line to applause from the crowd lining the route. "Today, I'm so, so, so happy. Everything was perfect today," Gebrselassie said.