Kenya’s Mary Keitany wins London Marathon with second-best time in history

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LONDON (AP) — Kenyan runner Mary Keitany broke Paula Radcliffe’s women-only marathon world record on Sunday with a third victory in London, while Daniel Wanjiru won the men’s race for the first time.

The 35-year-old Keitany completed the 26.2-mile (42.2-kilometer) in 2 hours, 17 minutes and 1 second to shave 41 seconds off Radcliffe’s 12-year-old mark.

The retired British athlete still remains a world-record holder. Radcliffe fought six years ago with the IAAF to ensure her 2003 marathon time of 2 hours, 15 minutes, 25 seconds — with two male pacemakers — was still recognized as a record rather than just a world-best.

Keitany was on track to break that outright world record halfway through Sunday’s race in the British capital in sunny conditions, but the pace eased up. She still ran to victory to seize the women-only record. Tirunesh Dibaba was 55 seconds behind Keitany while fellow Ethiopian, Aselefech Mergia, was third.

“It was very fast pace and I tried to follow it,” Keitany said. “I think the course has changed a little bit and it felt better than before. The weather was really good this year. Last year it was very, very cold. My body felt fit enough and I have trained well and I tried to push all the time. I’m very happy with the finish time. Parts of the course are hilly but I train in a very similar area in Kenya so it was not too different for me.”

The women’s marathon was missing its defending champion. Keitany’s compatriot, Jemima Sumgong, tested positive for the blood booster EPO in a surprise out-of-competition doping test in Kenya in February.

The men’s race saw the 24-year-old Wanjiru winning his first major marathon in 2 hours, 5 minutes, 48 seconds. That was nine seconds faster than Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia, while Bedan Karoki was third.

The men’s and mass race had a royal start, with Prince William, wife Kate and brother Harry pressing a button to sound the klaxon.

There was a British winner in the wheelchair race, with David Weir storming to his seventh victory in the event to end four years of frustration since his last success. The 37-year-old Weir retired from track competition last year after the six-time Paralympic champion failed to win a medal at the Rio de Janeiro Games.

“It’s the first time I’ve felt comfortable in years,” Weir said. “It’s been a tough four months personally. I’ve had a lot of background problems in my personal life. It’s been tough, especially after Rio. I needed to focus and sort out my head. I knew I had it in the last corner. All I was thinking was ‘win, win, win.'”

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2016 Chicago Marathon highlights

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CHICAGO (AP) — Abel Kirui of Kenya pulled ahead of defending champion Dickson Chumba for good in the final mile to win the Chicago Marathon on Sunday.

Florence Kiplagat of Kenya won her second straight Chicago Marathon women’s title.

The men’s lead alternated between Kirui and Chumba for the last few miles. The 34-year-old Kirui finished the 26.2-mile course in an unofficial time of 2 hours, 11 minutes, 23 seconds. Chumba finished in 2:11:26.

The top five finishers were all Kenyans.

The 29-year-old Kiplagat finished in an unofficial time of 2:21:32. She posted a winning time of 2:23:33 in Chicago last year.

Both the men’s and women’s winners won $100,000.

Marcel Hug of Switzerland won the men’s wheelchair title in 1:32:57 to edge defending champion Kurt Fearnley of Australia. Tatyana McFadden of Champaign, Illinois, won the women’s wheelchair crown in 1:42:28.

MORE: Ellen DeGeneres gifts wheelchair accessory to Tatyana McFadden

How to watch the 2016 Chicago Marathon

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The 2016 Chicago Marathon will be shown Sunday at 8 a.m. ET on NBCSN as well as on the NBC Sports app.

Tatyana McFadden is racing for her sixth consecutive Chicago Marathon wheelchair division title. She recently received a unique wheelchair accessory from Ellen DeGeneres.

Florence Kiplagat, who owns the half marathon world record, has the fastest personal best in the women’s elite field. She is the defending champion.

Dennis Kimetto, the current marathon world record holder, withdrew from the race with an injury. Fellow Kenyan Dickson Chumba owns the best time in the field.

Comedian Rob Riggle, who recently golfed with Michael Phelps, is also expected to run the race. Riggle is raising money for Salute, Inc., which provides financial support to military men and women.

The Chicago Marathon is one of the six road races that make up the World Marathon Majors. In the most recent race, the Berlin Marathon on Sept. 25, Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele missed the world record time by just six seconds.