London Marathon champion Brigid Kosgei on Sunday made history as she shattered the Great North Run women's course record in the UK as well as running the fastest women’s half marathon in a time of 1:04:28.
Kosgei broke the course record previously held by compatriot Mary Keitany of 1:05:39 set in 2014.
She ran inside the world record held by fellow Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei of 1:04:51 set at the Valencia Half Marathon in 2017.
However, the North Run course in the northeast of England is not eligible for records. Briton Mo Farah won the men's race for a record sixth successive time clocking 59:07 ahead of Ethiopia’s Tamirat Tola who finished in 59:13, while Netherland’s Abdi Nageeye, who trains in Kaptagat under the Global Sports Communication stable, was third in 59:55.
Kosgei led a Kenyan clean sweep with Magdalene Masai finishing second in 67:36, while her elder sister Linet Masai came in third in 67:44.
Mary Keitany, the New York Marathon champion, finished in fourth place in 1:07:58. Kosgei improved on her second placed finish in this race last year.
Kosgei, who had been training in Kapsait in Elgeyo Marakwet, said this before travelling to London for the race: “Last year I had not prepared well thus emerging second but I’m looking forward to a good race where I want to lower my personal best.”
And she did it in style.
The North Run champion will be heading to the Chicago Marathon next month and is optimistic of defend her title.
In April, the athlete ran a brilliant race in a strong field to win the London Marathon in 2:18:20. She has won six of the 10 marathon races she has participated in.
He coach Erick Kimaiyo said that he was sure the athlete was going to lower her personal best and he is happy that she even lowered the world best time.
“She had done good preparations ahead of the race and I was sure she was going to perform well. I gave her instructions not to wait for anybody and that is why she ran a lone race to the tape,” said Kimaiyo, a former Honolulu Marathon champion.
“We are going to plan for the world record in marathon. She is capable of lowering that time,” said Kimaiyo.
Great North Run men’s winner Farah had a perfect warm up for his Chicago Marathon title defence next month.
Four-time Olympic champion Farah, 36, was pushed hard by Tamirat Tola, but proved too strong in the final mile for the Ethiopian.
Farah, a two-time Olympic champion in both the 5,000m and 10,000m, is aiming to establish himself among the world’s elite marathon runners.
He claimed his first marathon title last year when he won in Chicago in a time of 2:05.11 — a European record.
“I’ve really enjoyed it but the past couple of years has been in the middle of marathon preparation. It was good to test myself,” Farah said after his victory.
“Things are looking good and I’m happy with the win. Tokyo (2020 Olympics) is definitely on the cards — as an athlete you always want to represent your country.
“You just have to take it one year at a time. Hopefully, come Tokyo time, we will be in the mix.”