Kenya’s Mutai Wins Boston Marathon in (Unofficial) Record Time
Fox News, April 18, 2011
Kenya’s Geoffrey Mutai ran the fastest 26.2 miles in history to win the Boston Marathon on Monday. Then his claim to a world record was swallowed up by the hills.
Not the inclines of Heartbreak Hill that have doomed so many runners before him.
It was the downhill part of the race that makes his time of 2 hours, 3 minutes, 2 seconds ineligible for an official world record. In short: IAAF rules have deemed the oldest and most prestigious marathon in the world–long considered the one of the most difficult, too–to be too easy.
Mutai outsprinted Moses Mosop down Boylston Street to win by four seconds as the two Kenyans both beat Haile Gebrselassie’s sanctioned world record of 2:03:59. Four men, including third-place finisher Gebregziabher Gebremariam of Ethiopia and American Ryan Hall, broke the course record of 2:05:52 set just last year by Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot.
“We had a stunning performance and an immensely fast time here today,” said Tom Grilk, the head of the Boston Athletic Association, after Mutai ran almost a full minute faster than the sanctioned world record. “We in Boston are well-pleased with what has happened, and that’s good unto itself. The definitions of others, I will leave to them.”
Kilel won the women’s race to complete the Kenyan sweep, outsprinting American Desiree Davila to win by two seconds in 2:22:36. Davila led as late as the final stretch on Boylston Street and ran the fastest time ever for a U.S. woman, five seconds faster than Benoit, who is now known as Joan Samuelson.
Kara Goucher ran a personal best 2:24:52 to add a fifth-place finish to her third in 2009. No American–man or woman–has won Boston since Lisa Larsen-Weidenbach in 1985.
Mutai and Mosop ran side-by-side for the final miles before Mutai pulled ahead for good on Boylston Street. The 19th Kenyan winner in the past 21 years, Mutai raised his arms in the air and grinned.