CHICAGO, Ill. — Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei beat the women’s marathon world record by more than a minute Sunday in winning the Chicago Marathon.
Her unofficial time of 2 hours, 14 minutes and 4 seconds beat Paula Radcliffe’s record, set at the 2003 London Marathon, by 81 seconds.
The 25-year-old smoked the competition. It was almost 7 minutes before the second-place runner, Ethiopia’s Ababel Yeshaneh, followed Kosgei across the finish line.
After breaking the tape, Kosgei put her hands on her hips and made the sign of the cross.
Radcliffe, a Briton, previously held the record time of 2 hours, 15 minutes and 25 seconds. Kosgei also handily beat Radcliffe’s record in the Chicago Marathon, which she set in 2002. The two posed for a photo following the race.
Kosgei’s countryman, Lawrence Cherono, finished first in the men’s race.
Kosgei joined the wheelchair champs, Daniel Romanchuk of the United States and Manuela Schar of Switzerland, in defending their titles. But the 2018 men’s champion, Mo Farah of Great Britain, could not do the same. The four-time Olympic gold medalist finished eighth in Sunday’s race.
Cherono, 31, fought off three other runners who all finished within 8 seconds of his winning time, according to unofficial race results. The others were fellow Kenyan Bedan Karoki and Ethiopians Dejene Debela and Asefa Mengstu.
Kosgei and Cherono were among 23 Kenyans in the 42nd Chicago Marathon, which boasted more than 45,000 runners. They will each collect $100,000 purses, and Kosgei will get a $75,000 bonus for beating the course record.
Chicago’s race came a day after Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge finished a 26.2-mile contest in Vienna, Austria, in one hour, 59 minutes and 40 seconds — making him the first person to finish a marathon in under 2 hours.