On Sunday, Brigid Kosgei took no less than 81 seconds off the world record at the Chicago marathon. The 25-year-old Kenyan was inspired by fellow countryman Eliud Kipchoge, who broke the magical 2-hour limit on the classic distance on Saturday.
"I kept saying that today should be my day," said Kosgei after her record race at the press conference. "I wanted to become the second Kipchoge, the female Kipchoge. I focused on that."
The African took 2 hours, 14 minutes and 4 seconds on the 42,195 kilometers through Chicago on Sunday. With that she went well below the no less than sixteen year old world record of the British Paula Radcliffe (2.15.25).
It became a groundbreaking weekend for the Kenyan long-distance runners, as the 34-year-old Kipchoge succeeded in his second attempt to run the marathon under 2 hours in Vienna on Saturday. The world record holder (2.01.39) came to 1.59.40, a time that is not recognized as a global top time by the alternating tempo makers.
Brigid Kosgei poses with her record time. (Photo: Pro Shots)
"The record was in my head"
The honors list of Kosgei is a lot shorter than that of her illustrious countryman, even though she already won the Chicago marathon last year and this year she became the youngest winner of the London marathon.
"I did not expect that I would set a world record here today," said Kosgei. "I was thinking of a time of 2.16 or 2.17. Running 2.14 is unbelievable, although I cannot deny that I had the record in my head. When I started my race, I thought: I need 2.15 for it Paula's record. "
Radcliffe was in Chicago and congratulated her successor immediately after the finish. "When I saw how fast Brigid ran in the first part, I knew that my record would be broken," said the now 45-year-old British.
Kosgei was on record from the start of her race. "People on the side were cheering and shouting 'world record' at me. I felt their energy, that inspired me."
"I don't know how to explain what it feels like now that I have managed to set the world record. I am very happy."
See also: Kenyan Kosgei crushes sixteen-year-old world record on marathon