Brigid Kosgei’s 2:14:04 world marathon record and the 3:01.51 world indoor 4x400m relay record set by a University of Houston quartet have been ratified.
Kosgei, who celebrated her 26th birthday on 20 February, shattered the previous mark at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on 13 October, slicing a massive 81 seconds from the 2:15:25 record Paul Radcliffe set in 2003 – when Kosgei was just nine years old.
The Kenyan’s world record ambitions were clear from the outset. Opening with a blistering 15:28 first 5km, she settled into an unprecedented rhythm that quickly turned her run into a race against Radcliffe’s long-standing record. Reaching 10km in 31:28, she churned out subsequent five-kilometre segments of 15:58 and 16:01 to reach the midway point in 1:06:59, itself a world-class time for the half marathon which put her on schedule for an astonishing 2:14:00 performance.
She forged on with 16:06, 15:45 and 15:56 five-kilometre splits, putting her on pace to finish more than a minute inside of Radcliffe’s record after 35km. Looking remarkably comfortable, she powered on alone after her male pacers drifted away near the 40km mark, and, realising the enormity of what she was about to achieve, ran with a smile on her face over the race’s waning stages.
“When I crossed the line it was really amazing. I was not expecting to break the world record,” said Kosgei, who successfully defended her Chicago title.
“I was well prepared for the race, and at the starting point I knew it maybe would be a record – or not, so long as I would be near to a record. But I was not expecting it.
“But when I got to 15 kilometres I realised I was at the record pace. And then for me it was a matter of perseverance, and then I could become the world record holder.”
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The University of Houston squad of Amere Lattin, Obie Igbokwe, Jermaine Holt and Kahmari Montgomery clocked 3:01.51 in Clemson, USA, on 9 February 2019 to clip 0.26 from the previous world indoor 4x400m record of 3:01.77 set by a Polish quartet at the 2018 World Indoor Championships in Birmingham.