At long last, the missing piece from Eliud Kipchoge's incredible résumé has been filled. "I was prepared to run my own race early so I wasn't surprised to be alone".
Berlin debutant Amos Kipruto came second in 2:06:23, followed by a third Kenyan, former world-record holder Wilson Kipsang, who was 25 seconds behind.
The Kenyan, who won Olympic gold in 2016, enhanced his status as the greater marathoner in history by slicing 78 secs off the mark set by Dennis Kimetto on the same fast course in 2014.
New York Times in a publication on Kipchoge wrote: "Elite distance runners generally run no more than two marathons each year".
The Kenyan defended his 2017 title in the German capital, pulling ahead of other runners early on amid flawless conditions.
Kipchoge, 33, and a team of three pacers took off and passed through the first 5K in 14:24 and then 10K in 29:21. But shortly after 15 kilometres, which he reached in 43:38, two of the three pacemakers were unable to continue and withdrew from the race.
The leading duo went through 25km in 1:12:24, and as Kipsang continued to fade in the second group, Kipchoge left Boit, who dropped out of the race.
Attracting attention from all over the athletics world, Kipchoge's achievement is already being spoken of in the highest terms. Just think of that next time you head out for a morning run. Kipchoge had covered 40km in a time of 1:56:32, a whooping 57 seconds of the record.
Eliud Kipchoge smashed the world marathon record by more than a minute
Kipchoge maintained his form well into the closing stages to smash compatriot Kimetto's previous best.
"The next is actually to run 2:02 so I have 2:00, 2:01, 2:02, 2:03, 2:04 and 2:05", Kipchoge joked after the race.
"I'd said I was running my own race following my planning and I was confident".
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.
He missed the mythical mark by just 25 seconds.
Race organizers initially timed Kipchoge a second slower but later corrected the time.
Gladys Cherono made it a hat trick of Berlin Marathon victories with new a course record of 2:18:11 on a memorable day for Kenyan athletes in the German capital.