Marathon running is a sport that requires endurance, speed and strategy.
It is also a sport that has produced some of the greatest athletes in history. Here are some of the greatest marathoners of all time, based on their achievements and records:
Haile Gebrselassie (Ethiopia)
Haile Gebrselassie is considered the greatest distance runner of all time. He won two Olympic gold medals in 10,000 meters and set 27 world records in various distances.
He also won nine major marathons and set the world record twice, with his best time being 2:03:59 at the 2008 Berlin Marathon.
Abebe Bikila (Ethiopia)
Abebe Bikila was the first black African to win an Olympic gold medal, which he did in 1960 at the Rome Olympics while running barefoot.
He also defended his title in 1964 at the Tokyo Olympics, setting a new world record of 2:12:11. He was the first person to win two Olympic marathons.
Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya)
Eliud Kipchoge is the current world record holder in the marathon, with a time of 2:01:39 at the 2018 Berlin Marathon.
He also won the Olympic gold medal in 2016 and has won 12 out of 14 marathons he has entered. He is the only person to run a marathon under two hours, which he did in a special event in 2019 with a time of 1:59:4032.
Paula Radcliffe (Great Britain)
Paula Radcliffe is the fastest female marathoner of all time, with a world record of 2:15:25 at the 2003 London Marathon.
She also won three London Marathons, three New York City Marathons and one Chicago Marathon. She was the world champion in 2005 and the European champion in 2002.
Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich (Kenya)
Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich is one of the most consistent and versatile marathoners, having won seven major marathons and breaking the world record twice.
His best time was 2:03:23 at the 2013 Berlin Marathon. He also won the bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics and was the world champion in 2014.