The answer, 78 seconds, was the single largest jump on the marathon world record since Derek Clayton improved the mark by two minutes and 23 seconds in 1967.
He missed the mythical mark by just 25 seconds.
The 33-year-old, widely seen as the greatest marathon runner of the modern era, ran an official time of two hours, one minute and 39 seconds on a sunny day along the flat inner-city course, smashing Dennis Kimetto's previous record that had stood since 2014.
Mild temperatures and little to no wind gave the runners of the 45th Berlin marathon an advantage over a year ago, when rain slowed the race.
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Kipchoge said a record time was in his sights before the race, and after the opening few kilometres, it became clear his pacemakers would be pushed to the limit. While trying to shatter the two-hour marathon barrier, Nike devised a plan for Kipchoge to race under optimal conditions where temperatures were almost ideal for the Formula 1 track in Monza, Italy and he could be assisted by an alternating cast of pacers almost every step of the way. It was just a matter of how much time he could take off Kimetto's record.
Kipchoge ran 5km in 14:24 - which was 1:26 faster than world record pace - and passed under the 10km barrier in 29:01. "That's what pushed me in the last kilometres", added Kipchoge.
Kipchoge will be rewarded with a total sum of €120,000 ($139,614) for his performance on Sunday, including a €50,000 bonus for the world record, a €40,000 for coming first, and €30,000 bonus for keeping his time below two hours and four minutes.
Cherono won in 2:18:11, breaking the previous course record (2:19:12, Mizuki Noguchi, 2005) by over a minute.
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