Dennis Kimetto of Kenya holds up his trophy as he celebrates during the awards ceremony for the 41st Berlin marathon
Dennis Kimetto of Kenya holds up his trophy as he celebrates during the awards ceremony for the 41st Berlin marathon.Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters

Kenya's Dennis Kimetto has set a new marathon world record in Berlin, after winning the race at a time of 2hr 2min 57secs.

Kimetto, 30, beat the record set by fellow Kenyan Wilson Kipsang, who clocked 2:03:23 last year.

The long-distance runner broke away from a seven-man cluster that included fellow Kenyans Emmanuel Mutai and Geoffrey Kamworor.

In the final 5km, Kimetto broke free from Mutai and crossed the finish line near the Brandenburg Gate with his arms in the air.

"I feel good because I won a very tough race," Kimetto said. "I felt good from the start and in the last few miles I felt I could do it and break the record."

Kimetto, who won marathons in Tokyo and Boston last year, had promised to better the world record in Berlin, if weather conditions permitted. Temperatures of around eight degrees allowed him to remain in the lead group throughout the race and keep his promise of claiming victory.

Dennis Kimetto stands with Ethiopia's Tirfi Tsegaye, who won the women's race
Dennis Kimetto stands with Ethiopia's Tirfi Tsegaye, who won the women's race.Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters

Kimetto's compatriot Mutai, who won the London Marathon in 2011, also beat the previous world record after finishing second at a time of 2:03:13. He has also finished second in Chicago, New York City and in the World Championships.

Ethiopia's Tirfi Tsegaye won the women's race in Berlin, while Shalane Flanagan failed to accomplish her goal of breaking the US record, coming in third place with a personal best of 2:21:14.

"I put everything I had to it," Flanagan told NBCSports.com. "I went big. I left everything I had on the course.

"As you could tell, I was struggling the last 5km to keep my momentum. Sometimes we have to push ourselves and put ourselves out there and be subject to failure before we have the big, breakthrough success."

Kimetto finished second in the 2012 Berlin Marathon at a time of 2:04:16 – the fastest ever marathon debut. He was one of the pre-race favourites in this year's Boston Marathon but had to pull out due to a hamstring injury.