At London Marathon, a Record Falls

Mary Keitany breaks Paula Radcliffe's women-only marathon record in 3rd win
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 23, 2017 6:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – Kenyan runner Mary Keitany broke Paula Radcliffe's women-only marathon world record on Sunday with a third victory in London, reports the AP, while Daniel Wanjiru won the men's race for the first time. The 35-year-old Keitany completed the 26.2-mile 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, 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. The women's marathon was missing its defending champion. Keitany's compatriot, Jemima Sumgong, tested positive for the blood booster EPO 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. The 37-year-old retired from track competition last year after the six-time Paralympic champion failed to medal at the Rio Games. "It's the first time I've felt comfortable in years," Weir said. (Read more London Marathon stories.)

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