|Brigid Kosgei after smashing Paula Radcliffe's world record in Chicago. Photo by organizers|
Just 10 minutes into the race and Kosgei still had just one other runner remaining beside her. But that wasn’t for long. At the 5km point, Kosgei was alone with two pacesetters as she crossed it in an unimaginable 15:28.
The projected finish time at that point was 2:10.32. It was insane. But, then again, Kipchoge had just done what looked even more insane one day before this and must have been an inspiring moment for Kosgei leading up to this race. Ababel Yeshaneh of Ethiopia was already eight seconds behind her.
At the 10km point that was crossed in 31:28, the gap between her and Yeshaneh had grown to 32 seconds. The pacesetters might have been surprised by the splits at the 5km point and the projected finish time had become a minute slower than it was at the 5km, but still insanely within 2:12. All the women behind her seemed to be running their own races with the nearest five competitors behind her being at least thirty seconds apart.
Kosgei was already two minutes ahead of everyone at the 25km point. It was no longer a race to win for her, but rather a race against the clock. The world record was well on her sight at that point. With the race for the world record in her mind, her gap against the rest of the field continued to grow rapidly till she was more than six minutes ahead as she crossed the finish line in a new world record of 2:14:04. Paula Radcliffe, the former world record holder of the 2:15:25 time that had last for sixteen years was just there at the finish line to congratulate her.
Yeshane held on to the second position throughout the race to finish in 2:20:51 just ahead of Gelete Burka in 2:15:55 who was beginning to close her gap rapidly as they neared the finish line.
In the men’s race, Lawrence Cherono emerged the winner in a tight race that had four runners battling out for the win in the last one kilometer of the race. Dejene Debela was second and Asefa Mengstu finished in second and third with Bedan Karoki who had gone all the way with the three, unfortunately, becoming the first runner to finish outside the podium. Their times were; 2:05:45, 2:05:46, 2:05:48 and 2:05:53 respectively.
The defending champion in the men’s race, Mo Farah was interestingly already back in the chasing pack within the first 5km of the race. He managed to close the gap in a number of instances but would quickly drop back again. Dickson Chumba, who later faded after the 30km point, was just on the heels of the pacesetters appearing a little bit impatient almost throughout the race.