Ultimate Event Rankings

Marathon Ultimate Rankings

Since we last checked in with the marathon Ultimate Rankings in the aftermath of Eliud Kipchoge's 2:01:39 world record in September of 2018, Kipchoge has continued to dominate and the event as a whole has gotten way faster. In terms of time progression, a lifetime has passed since we last updated this list. Kipchoge has since run under two hours for 26.2 miles, albeit in an exhibition, and a woman has run 2:14.

As such, our list of the top 20 greatest marathoners, regardless of gender, has undergone some changes in the last year. Women's world record holder Brigid Kosgei, who didn't make the list in 2018, has launched herself into the top 10 all-time by stacking victories and bettering Paula Radcliffe. And perhaps most noticeably, Kipchoge has taken his rightful spot atop the list after falling one point shy last year.

As a refresher, here's how this works: the Ultimate Rankings is a points-based system that factors in three elements of an athlete’s résumé to determine greatness in the marathon:

- Major marathon performances (not including the World Championships)

- PR ranking all-time (scored through top 20 all-time)

- Total number of top 20 all-time performances

Using this formula, the goal is to form a baseline where men and women can be compared on an equal playing field. The result is the definitive list of top 20 marathon runners in world history.

(Click the date tab just above the rankings below to see our first compilation of the 20 best marathoners of all-time.)

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