Paula Radcliffe’s world marathon record, which has stood imperiously for over 16 years, has been obliterated by Brigid Kosgei at the Chicago marathon.
The 25-year-old Kenyan ran 2:14:03 to beat Radcliffe’s best of 2:15:25 by an astonishing 81 seconds.
The whispers all week in Chicago had been that Kosgei was intending to make a serious assault on Radcliffe’s time. In cold and sunny conditions – perfect for the marathon – she knew the attempt was on, especially when the winds died down on Sunday morning.
Kosgei immediately set out her stall by going through five miles in 25:10, way inside world record pace. Some feared that she had massively overcooked her pace and would eventually boil over. But even though Kosgei slowed her pace she still went through halfway in 66.59, over a minute faster than Radcliffe’s time in setting her world record in 2003.
There appeared to be a moment where Kosgei appeared to not quite as comfortable, but when she ran the five kilometres between 25 and 30 km in 15:45 pace it was clear that she the record was in her grasp. And so it proved.