Mary Keitany Runs 2:17:01 In London For A New Women's-Only World Record

In the fastest marathon since the 2003 world record, Mary Keitany won the London Marathon in 2:17:01. It's the fastest time ever run by a woman without male pacers, as Paula Radcliffe's 2:15:25 world record--also run in London--had some male assistance. The previous women's-only world best was Radcliffe's 2:17:42, yet again in London, from 2005.

Behind Keitany, Tirunesh Dibaba ran 2:17:56 in just her second marathon ever. It was a bizarre finish for Dibaba, as she stopped with two miles to go in the race but held on to become the third fastest woman of all time. (Keitany was already the second fastest woman ever.)

Keitany blitzed the first half of the race and dared her body to hang on. She went through halfway in 66:54, over a minute faster than Radcliffe covered the first half in her women's-only and absolute world records. 

The 35-year-old Keitany, who won New York in November after a controversial omission from the Kenyan Olympic team, is the oldest woman to run that fast. 


In the men's race, Daniel Wanjiru held off a late-charging Kenenisa Bekele to win in 2:05:48. Bekele got as close as six seconds in the last two miles but could never quite close the gap all the way. The two of them trounced the rest of the field, which was led by Bedan Karoki's 2:07:41 debut. Wanjiru's win was a major surprise, as he had never competed in a World Marathon Major before. He was seventh in Frankfurt in 2014 and won Amsterdam in 2:05 last October.

Two-time world champion Abel Kirui was fourth in 2:07:41, and 2016 Olympic silver medalist Feyisa Lilesa struggled home in 2:14:12.

Laura Thweatt had a breakout performance in the women's race. Her 2:25:38 was good for sixth place, and makes her the No. 7 American ever in any conditions. She's No. 4 on record-legal courses, as Jordan Hasay, Desi Linden, and Kara Goucher only ever ran faster than that in Boston.

Speaking of Hasay, her time would have been third here. Aselefech Mergia ran 2:23:08 for third and Olympic 5K gold medalist Vivian Cheruiyot was fourth in 2:23:50. 

​More to come

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