Kenya's Paul Tergat set a new world best time for the marathon in Berlin on Sunday.
Tergat won in two hours four minutes 55 seconds, beating Khalid Khannouchi's previous mark - set in London in 2002 - by 43 seconds.
The win, in cool and cloudy conditions, was the 34-year-old's first marathon win in six attempts
"I said this time I wanted to try for the record. I'm very happy," Tergat said after the race.
"I knew that we were headed toward a great time, and made sure the pace didn't get too fast. That paid off at the finish."
MARATHON BEST TIMES
Derek Clayton - 1969
Alberto Salazar - 1981
Steve Jones - 1984
Carlos Lopes - 1985
Belayneh Dinsamo - 1988
Ronaldo Da Costa - 1998
Khalid Khannouchi - 1999
Khalid Khannouchi - 2002
Paul Tergat - 2003
And the record came despite Tergat losing several seconds in front of the Brandenburg Gate trying to figure out which of the towering pillars he was to run through.
"There was nobody there to show me," he explained afterwards.
It was a thrilling sprint finish as Tergat battled with his pacemaker and fellow Kenyan Sammy Korir.
Tergat held off Korir's strong challenge, but the pacemaker also smashed Khannouchi's old mark, finishing one second behind his compatriot in 2:04:56.
Tergat's time was the fourth world best recorded in Berlin in the past five years.
But the Kenyan has often been the runner-up in big races, holding two Olympic silver medals and finishing second to Khannouchi when the American set his mark.
Tergat also holds the world half-marathon record of 59:17.
Yasuko Hashimoto made it four wins in a row for Japanese runners in the women's race when she won in 2.26.32.