Kenya

Brigid Kosgei shatters marathon world record in Chicago

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Kenyan Brigid Kosgei shattered a 16-year-old world record in the women’s marathon by 81 seconds, winning the Chicago Marathon in 2:14:04 on Sunday.

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.

“2:10 is possible for a lady,” Kosgei said after Sunday’s record.

Jordan Hasay, the top U.S. woman in the field, stopped after feeling a sharp hamstring strain after two miles. Hasay, who was coached by Alberto Salazar before his ban in a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency case, is one of several women in contention for the three Olympic spots at the Feb. 29 trials in Atlanta.

Kenyan Lawrence Cherono won the men’s race by one second over Ethiopian Dejene Debela in 2:05:45.

The U.S.’ top marathoner, Galen Rupp, dropped out around mile 23 after straining a calf around the sixth mile. Rupp, who was also coached by Salazar, was racing for the first time since the 2018 Chicago Marathon and Achilles surgery.

Mo Farah, the defending champion and four-time Olympic track gold medalist, finished eighth in 2:09:58. He also dropped from the leaders before the halfway point.

American Daniel Romanchuk and Swiss Manuela Schar won the wheelchair races.

Romanchuk, 21, repeated as champion. He has also won Boston London and New York City in the last year. Schar distanced decorated American Tatyana McFadden by 4:14, though McFadden did qualify for the Tokyo Paralympics with her runner-up finish (as did Romanchuk).

The fall major marathon season concludes with the New York City Marathon on Nov. 3, featuring defending champions Mary Keitany and Lelisa Desisa and 2018 Boston Marathon champion Des Linden.

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MORE: Chicago Marathon results

Eliud Kipchoge runs 1:59 marathon, first to break 2 hours

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Eliud Kipchoge ran a marathon in 1 hour, 59 minutes, 40 seconds, becoming the first person to break two hours for 26.2 miles in a special event in Vienna on Saturday morning.

“It has taken 65 years for a human being to make history in sport after Roger Bannister,” Kipchoge said, noting the Brit who became the first man to break 4 minutes for a mile in 1954. “I can tell people that no human is limited. I expect more people all over the world to run under two hours after today.”

NBCSN airs an exclusive replay of the Ineos 1:59 Challenge on Sunday from 3-5:30 p.m. ET and Monday at 2:30 p.m.

Kipchoge, the 34-year-old Olympic champion from Kenya, reached his goal in a non-record-eligible time trial event built just for him. He flashed smiles in the final mile, appearing confident he would meet the goal he’s had in mind since the Rio Games.

He pointed to both sides of the crowd, slapped his chest twice as he crossed under the finish banner. He found the arms of his wife, Grace, watching him finish a marathon in person for the first time, and children. Then he moved onto his career-long coach, 1992 Olympic 3000m steeplechase silver medalist Patrick Sang.

Kipchoge said the hardest hours of his life were between 5 and 8:15 on Saturday morning, up until the event began. He ate oatmeal for breakfast.

The bid, similar to Kipchoge’s sub-two-hour marathon attempt in Italy two years ago, featured packs of pacers from an announced group of 41 taking turns, a lead car beaming lasers out the back as a guide and special Nike shoes.

The final pace group shed from Kipchoge so he could run the final 500 meters alone. Kipchoge sped up, taking the projected finish down from 1:50:50 in the last mile.

Pacers included a Who’s Who of distance runners, from Olympic 1500m champion Matthew Centrowitz to five-time Olympian Bernard Lagat, who is 44 years old.

Kipchoge ran 2:00:25 in his previous sub-two attempt on a Formula One track in Monza, Italy. He holds the world record of 2:01:39, set at the 2018 Berlin Marathon.

“Berlin is running and breaking a world record,” Kipchoge said before the event. “Vienna is running and making history in this world, like the first man to go the moon.”

This event was held at the Prater, a central Vienna park, with fans lining the six-mile circuit.

Next year, Kipchoge can become the third person to win multiple Olympic marathons. He won his last 10 marathons over the last five years, a modern-era elite record streak.

Kipchoge, a 2003 World 5000m champion at age 18, moved to road racing after finishing seventh in the 2012 Olympic trials 5000m, failing to make the Kenyan team for the London Games.

“I’m a believer of a challenges and a believer if you climb one branch, look for the next branch,” he said.

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MORE: Galen Rupp supports Alberto Salazar ahead of Chicago Marathon

Eliud Kipchoge confident he will break 2-hour marathon; Ineos 1:59 TV, live stream info

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Eliud Kipchoge said he is more prepared for his second attempt and ready to become the first person to break two hours in a marathon in Vienna on Saturday.

Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA will air Kipchoge’s sub-two attempt, called the Ineos 1:59 Challenge, live on Saturday morning. The start time is 2:15 a.m. ET. The live stream for Olympic Channel subscribers is here.

“I am confident that I have been in that speed in the last two years,” Kipchoge, the Olympic marathon champion and world-record holder from Kenya, said Thursday. “So it’s not something that we’re thinking, oh, are we going to do it? I’ve been doing it for the first time, and the second time, I will get it.”

Kipchoge came close the first time, running 2:00:25 on a Formula One course in Monza, Italy, on May 6, 2017. Kipchoge’s world record is 2:01:39 from the 2018 Berlin Marathon.

Like Monza, the Vienna attempt will not be under record-eligible conditions. For instance, Kipchoge’s 41 pacers, including U.S. Olympic 1500m champion Matthew Centrowitz, are expected to shuffle in and out of the race.

He arrived in Vienna on Tuesday to get his first look at the course — a six-mile circuit of a stretch of flat road at The Prater, a historic park in central Vienna.

“To run in Berlin and to run in Vienna are two different things,” said Kipchoge, the youngest of four siblings raised by his mom, a kindergarten teacher, after the death of his father. “Berlin is running and breaking a world record. Vienna is running and making history in this world, like the first man to go the moon.”

Kipchoge, whose 10-marathon, five-year win streak is a modern-era elite record, gained confidence watching Ethiopian legend Kenenisa Bekele clock 2:01:41 in Berlin on Sept. 29, missing the world record by two seconds.

“Most people were saying no other human being can come close to [2:01:39],” said Kipchoge, who took 78 seconds off the previous world record in Berlin last year. “[Bekele’s run] is a good illustration that no human is limited.”

Kipchoge said he has been thinking about a sub-two-hour marathon since the Rio Olympics. After his Monza attempt, the man of metaphors said, “We are going up the tree … I have lifted a branch and I am going onto the next one. This is not the end of the attempt of runners on two hours.”

Kipchoge, who at 34 is three years younger than Bekele, would not commit to a third attempt if this one fails. He says to wait and see what happens on Saturday.

What’s clear is that Kipchoge sees this race as a positive for the sport.

“In a garden there is flowers and there are weeds,” he said when asked about track and field’s issues, from doping to small crowds at the recent world championships in Doha. “Vienna, we are talking about the flowers. Let us concentrate on the flowers.”

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MORE: 2019 Berlin Marathon results