Brigid Kosegi breaks women’s marathon world record

By Camilla Forte, Photojournalist

Brigid Kosegei won this year’s Chicago Marathon Sunday, running a time of 2 hours, 14 minutes and 4 seconds, smashing the women’s marathon world record by a full 81 seconds.

The previous world record was set by Paula Radcliffe, who won the 2003 London Marathon with a time of 2 hours 15 minutes and 25 seconds.

The 25-year-old Kenyan runner’s world record comes just one day after fellow Kenyan runner Eliud Kipchoge’s made history by running a historic sub-two hour marathon at the Vienna City Marathon.

This is not the first time the Chicago Marathon has resulted in historic completion times. Four previous world records have been set during the race.

Khalid Khannouchi of Morocco set a men’s marathon record, running a time of 2 hours, 5 minutes and 42 seconds in 1999. Radcliffe of Great Britain set the women’s marathon record in 2002, running a time of 2 hours 17 minutes and 18 seconds.

The race is one of the world’s flattest, hence fastest, courses in the world. Making it a choice race for elite runners to classify for national and world records.

This year’s race drew 45,000 runners from all 50 states and more than 100 countries, and an estimated 1.7 million spectators.

Additionally, this year’s marathon hosted the Paralympic qualifying race, where participants in the wheelchair division competed to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Top finishers in this division included American Daniel Romanchuk, who won the men’s wheelchair race with a time of 1 hour, 30 minutes and 26 seconds, and Manuela Schaer from Switzerland, who won the women’s wheelchair race with a time of 1 hour, 41 minutes and 8 seconds.

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