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Race news Bank of America Chicago Marathon

14 October 2019, 9am

Radcliffe’s 2003 time smashed by 81 seconds

Kosgei sets new marathon world record

Bank of America Chicago Marathon
Sun 13 October 2019

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Brigid Kosgei broke Paula Radcliffe’s 16-year-old world record for the women’s marathon in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on 13 October, winning in a time of 2:14:04.

She sliced 81 seconds off Radcliffe’s time of 2:15:25, set in London in 2003. Yet in the previous 16 years no woman had come anywhere near it – the closest had been Mary Keitany in the 2017 London Marathon with 2:17:01.

Kosgei won Chicago last year in 2:18:35 and improved to 2:18:20 in London earlier this year. She had become the fastest ever woman at the half marathon distance only the previous month with a time of 1:04:28 – but this was not set on a record-eligible course.

She set off fast, reaching 5km in 15:28 with only Ethiopia’s Abebel Yeshaneh (15:36) even trying to keep pace. She then settled into a rhythm of 16 minutes per 5km split (31:28, 47:26) to pass halfway, accompanied by two male pacemakers, in 1:06:59. From 30–35km she sped up with a 15:45 split and followed through to 40km with 15:56. She did not falter in the finishing stages as she stormed on towards the finish line by herself.

“I ran here last year so I knew it was a good course,” said Kosgei. “There was a little bit of wind but it was okay. People were cheering all along the course, which gave me more energy.”

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