Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei Breaks Women’s Marathon World Record

The runner broke the previous record by over a minute.

Brigid Kosgei of Kenya reacts after wining the 2019 Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 13, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
Brigid Kosgei of Kenya reacts after wining the 2019 Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 13, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
By Bonnie Stiernberg / October 14, 2019 4:19 pm

Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei made history at the Chicago Marathon on Sunday (Oct. 13), setting a new world record with her time of 2:14:04.

Kosgei crushed the long-standing record of 2:15:25, held by Paula Radcliffe, which was set during the 2003 London Marathon. But despite her amazing achievement, the runner already has her sights set on a faster time.

“It’s amazing for me,” she said. “I never believed that time. But I’ve seen 2:10 is possible for a lady to run if they are sure. During training, you must focus everything.”

Prior to Chicago, Kosgei’s personal best was 2:18:20 (from the London Marathon she won in April), and she told reporters that her ability to reach 2:14 so quickly means 2:10 is within reach for her as well.

“Today I run 2:14:04,” she said. “I’m still focusing to reduce my time again if it’s possible, if my body could be good, I could reduce a little bit.”

She also addressed the recent doping suspensions, saying, “About doping, me, I do not know about it, those people. It is far from me. It is different where we train. Me, I don’t know about those doping. I say each and every person can run clean. And you must work hard.”

The 25-year-old marathoner takes home $100,000 for her win, as well as $75,000 for breaking the Chicago course record (which was 2:17:18, also set by Radcliffe). Ababel Yeshaneh of Ethiopia finished in second place behind Kosgei with a time of 2:20:51, and Ethiopia’s Gelete Burka took third place with a time of 2:20:55.

American Emma Bates finished fourth in 2:25:27.

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