Mo Farah Smashes European Record In Dominant Chicago Win

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The most decorated distance runner in track and field history can now add a major marathon victory to his incomparable résumé. 

Mo Farah won the 2018 Chicago Marathon on Sunday in a new European record of 2:05:11, as the 35-year-old Brit owned the final miles while taking 37 seconds off Norwegian Sondre Moen’s 2:05:48 previous mark.

Running just his third career marathon, Farah won in damp Windy City conditions in much the way he used to win on the track: by lingering in the background until the late stages of the race, then overwhelming the competition with his superior speed.

The four-time Olympic gold medalist took control of the race between 35 and 40 kilometers as part of an acceleration that would drop defending champion Galen Rupp and 2017 Boston Marathon winner Geoffrey Kirui of Kenya. Rupp would ultimately finish fifth in 2:06:21, while Kirui settled for sixth in 2:06:45.

Just before 39k, Farah dwindled his adversaries to just one— Ethiopia’s Mosinet Geremew, the fastest man in the field with a 2:04:00 PR— as Rupp’s training partner, Japan’s Suguru Osako, and Kenya’s Kenneth Kipkemoi fell off as Farah continued to ratchet down the pace.

Geremew finished runner-up behind Farah in 2:05:24.

Osako would go on to place an impressive third in a new Japanese record of 2:05:50, the fastest time ever for an Asian athlete and the first under 2:06. With the run, Osako made himself a rich man— the 27-year-old will receive 100 million yen ($879,350) from his home country for breaking the Japanese record. The Nike Oregon Project team member now owns the NOP marathon record as well.

Kipkemoi took fourth in 2:05:57 on Sunday.

But the day belonged to Farah, who made his final move with just 600 meters to go, a triumphant push that Geremew couldn’t cover. As he entered the final stretch of the race with the victory in hand, Farah began to wave his arms in celebration, a signal that he had conquered a deep field in Chicago while simultaneously securing his breakout moment in his new event. 

Farah broke the tape with his familiar Mo-Bot “M” victory gesture, a reminder of who he was before, and now, what he may become in the marathon.

24-year-old Brigid Kosgei runs No. 7 All-Time 2:18:35, Third-Fastest In Chicago Ever

While the men’s race garnered much of the pre-race attention given the heavyweights involved, 24-year-old Kenyan Brigid Kosgei turned the women’s race into an assault on the record books as she won by two minutes and 43 seconds in 2:18:35, making her the seventh-fastest woman in marathon history.

The time is also the third-fastest in Chicago history, behind only Paula Radcliffe’s 2:17:18 course record from 2002 and Tirunesh Dibaba’s 2:18:31 last year. Kosgei finished runner-up to Dibaba in 2017, but on Sunday she was all to herself for the last several miles, as she split a remarkable 15:36 between 30 and 35k to break the race wide open. 

Ethiopia’s Roza Dereje finished a distant second in 2:21:18, while her countrywoman Shure Demise was third in 2:22:15.

29-year-old Sarah Crouch earned the honor of top American as she ran a seven-second PR of 2:32:37. Crouch’s previous best of 2:32:44 was also set in Chicago back in 2014 as she placed sixth then as well. 

2016 Olympic triathlon champion Gwen Jorgensen finished 11th in 2:36:23 while running her first marathon since focusing solely on running. Jorgensen had previously run 2:41:01 in New York back in 2016.

Three Events To Watch At BU: Jenkins/Tanui/NAU 5k, Engels In The Mile

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The 2020 BU John Thomas Terrier Classic is this Friday and Saturday (Jan 24-25) in Boston and will be Live on FloTrack. A fast men's 5k and the season debut of Craig Engels in the mile are among the top events to watch this weekend:

Weekend Watch Guide: Fast Boston 5k, Elite Sprints In New Mexico

Several of the top distance runners and sprinters in the country will be on display this weekend on FloTrack as we stream two days of action at the BU John Thomas Terrier Classic in Boston and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Collegiate Invitational in Albuquerque this Friday and Saturday. U.S. Olympic hopeful Eric Jenkins and training partner Paul Tanui will chase the 13:13.50 Olympic 5k standard along with several NAU stars on Friday at BU, while reigning 60m hurdles world champion Keni Harrison will face 2019 NCAA champion Chanel Brissett in the hurdles at New Mexico on Saturday. That, and so much more, can be seen on our live slate Jan. 24 - 25:

As Trials Approach, Three Contenders Speak On State Of Shoes

As the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials rapidly draw near, tensions surrounding the fate of Nike’s controversial Vaporfly shoes are at an all-time high. Reports in recent weeks that World Athletics is set to ban the shoe have led to speculation of when a potential rule change would be made and what specifically the governing body seeks to outlaw. With less than 40 days until Atlanta, both action or inaction by World Athletics will be a major storyline in the race for Tokyo. 

Eight Sub-2:21 Women Set To Contest 2020 Boston Marathon

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Houston Organizers Award 'Top U.S. Male' Prize Money To Two Runners

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The Houston Half Marathon organizers decided to award their "top U.S. male finisher" prize money ($2,000) to two athletes this year.

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Niiya Sets Japanese Record In Dominant Houston Half Performance

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Athing Mu Adds To Legacy With 500m National Record At VA Showcase

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By Jim Lambert for MileSplit

Athing Mu added to her legacy as one of the greatest high school track and field athletes of all-time with an electrifying national record breaking performance at the Virginia Showcase on Friday night at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.

Teenage Sprint Star Briana Williams Signs With Nike

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Briana Williams, the 17-year-old sprinter who broke the national high school 100 meter record in June at Jamaica's Senior Track and Field Championships, has turned pro and has signed a contract with HSI International, it was announced on Friday. 

Unsponsored Fischer Excited For Houston Half Marathon Return

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Weekend Watch Guide: Roberts vs. Allen In 60H, Prep Stars At VA Showcase

A busy slate of track and field action is on deck for this weekend Live on FloTrack. From elite high school competition at the VA Showcase to strong mid-distance and hurdle races at the Larry Wieczorek Invitational, FloTrack has you covered for all your track needs.