Brigid Kosgei of Kenya has broken the world record for the women’s marathon with a time of 2:14:04 hours. The previous record, by Great Britain’s Paula Radcliffe, had been undisturbed for 16 years.
Brigid Kosgei of Kenya has broken the world record for the women’s marathon with a time of 2:14:04 hours at the Chicago Marathon on Sunday.
Kosgei has broken a record that has been undisturbed for 16 years. The previous existing world record had been held by Great Britain’s Paula Radcliffe. The earlier record had been 2:15:25 hours.
Kosgei’s achievement caps off an incredible week for Kenyan marathon runners. Lawrence Cherono of Kenya won the men’s marathon in Chicago on Sunday. Earlier in the week, Eliod Kipchoge became the first man to run a sub-two hour marathon, smashing the barrier by almost 20 seconds.
Kipchoge had clocked 1:59:41 in Vienna on Saturday. Unlike Kipchoge’s performance, however, Kosgei’s mark was set in an official race on a record-eligible course.
“I’m happy and I feel good,” Kosgei was quoted as saying after the marathon by IAAF. “I ran here last year so I knew it was a good course. There was a little bit of wind but it was okay. People were cheering all along the course, which gave me more energy.”
“We always knew the time would come when the record would be broken,” said Radcliffe, who was in Chicago and congratulated Kosgei when she finished. “When I saw how fast Brigid was running in the first half of the race, I knew she had a good chance of getting the record,” she said.
The 25-year-old’s performance continued a remarkable weekend in the punishing event, coming a day after fellow Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge became the first man to break two hours at the distance when he clocked 1hr 59min 40.2 sec on a specially prepared course in a Vienna park.
Brit Paula Radcliffe had held the record of 2:15:25 set at the 2003 London Marathon. Kenyan Mary Keitany holds the female-only record of 2:17:01 from the 2017 London Marathon. Both Kosgei and Radcliffe, the only women to break 2:17, ran with men in their record races.
Radcliffe’s record was the longest-standing for the men’s or women’s marathon of the last 50 years.
Kosgei did it one day after Eliud Kipchoge became the first person to run a sub-two-hour marathon in a non-record-eligible event in Vienna. She won by a gaping 6 minutes, 47 seconds over Ethiopian Ababel Yeshaneh.
Kosgei, who won Chicago in 2018 and the London Marathon in April, came in highly favored. The 25-year-old tuned up with the fastest half-marathon ever by a woman (by 23 seconds) on Sept. 8 on a non-record-eligible course.