No World Records at Rotterdam

For exclusive access to all of our fitness, gear, adventure, and travel stories, plus discounts on trips, events, and gear, sign up for Outside+ today.

Courtesy of

Kenya's Wilson Chebet won the 31st ABN AMRO Rotterdam marathon yesterday in 2:05:27 — the fastest marathon of 2011 so far. The time was a personal best for Chebet, but still one minute 28 seconds off the world record (2:03:59 set in 2008 by Ethiopian Haile Gebreselassie in Berlin).

With seven sub-2:07 elite runners competing, Rotterdam organizers were hoping Geb's time might be broken — in fact, they even offered a $325,000 bonus to whomever might set the new record.

But the weather was warm, windy and humid, and no new records were set, despite Chebet and fellow-Kenyan Vincent Kipruto running just under world record pace at the half. The two men, who are from the same village, ran together until mile 25, when Chebet pulled away to win by six seconds. Even so, “we are friends and can get along well,” Chebet said after the race.

According to Let', Chebet's 2:05:27 and Kipruto's 2:05:33 were fast enough for Rotterdam to surpass Berlin as the fastest marathon course, based on the average of the ten fastest times run on each course.

Kipruto & Chebet; Courtesy of

To read more about fast marathon courses and the possibility of a sub-two-hour marathon, check out Outside's Human Performance issue, on stands now.

 –Whitney Dreier

promo logo