Kenya's Brigid Kosgei sets new world record at Chicago Marathon

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Monday, October 14, 2019

Yesterday, Brigid Kosgei of Kenya won the 2019 Chicago Marathon and broke the long-standing marathon world record for women competing in mixed-sex marathons. Kosgei was the Chicago Marathon defending champion. Countryman Lawrence Cherono won the men's division. The race was held in the United States city of Chicago, Illinois.

Kosgei at the 2018 London Marathon
Image: Paul Hudson.

In setting the new record, Kosgei finished more than six minutes ahead of her competition, completing the race in 2:14:04. This was 81 seconds faster than Paula Radcliffe's mixed-sex mark set at the 2003 London Marathon. The women-only record of 2:17:01, held by Mary Jepkosgei Keitany also from Kenya, remained intact. The distinction between the two records is the use of male pacesetters.

"I was not expecting this", said Kosgei after the race. "But I felt my body was moving, moving, moving so I went for it. This is amazing for me." Kosgei was joined by Paula Radcliffe at the finish line. "[...] I always knew this time would come — and when I saw how fast Brigid was running I knew the record would go if she could maintain her pace", Radcliffe said.

Second and third place went to Ababel Yeshaneh and Gelete Burka, both from Ethiopia, with times of 2:20:51 and 2:20:55, respectively. Winner of the men's division, Cherono, posted a time of 2:05:45. He was followed closely by Ethiopians Dejene Debela, 2:05:46, and Asefa Mengstu, 2:05:48.

Just the previous day, Kosgei's countryman Eliud Kipchoge became the first person to run a marathon in under two hours, setting the mark in Vienna, Austria at a special event; though Kipchoge's time was not considered an official world record, as it was not an open race sanctioned under IAAF rules.