Ethiopia’s Haile Gebrselassie broke his own world record for the marathon in Berlin as he became the first man to finish in under 2 hours, 4 minutes.

The 35-year-old clocked 2 hours, 3 minutes and 59 seconds today, shaving 27 seconds off the record he set in the German capital in 2007.

Gebrselassie, who also won the city’s marathon in 2006, didn’t run in last month’s Olympic Games in Beijing because of concerns over pollution.

“Everything was perfect,” Gebrselassie was cited as saying by the British Broadcasting Corp. “The weather was perfect, the race was perfect and the crowd was perfect.”

Kenya’s James Kwambai was second in 2:05:36, with his compatriot Charles Kamathi third, more than two minutes further back.

Germany’s Irina Mikitenko, winner of the London Marathon in April, won the women’s race, with Askale Tafa of Ethiopia second and Kenya’s Helena Kiprop in third.