The women’s race in London was absolutely Electrifying!
Mary Keitany, running with Pacemaker Caroline KIpkirui, Mary took off. Hitting the 5k in 15:31, the 10k in 31:17, and the 15k in 47:15, she had the BBC team of Brendan Foster, Steve Cram and Paula Radcliffe questioning what was going on. Paula Radcliffe knew instinctively. Mary Keitany was hellbent on breaking the women’s only marathon record of 2:17:42.
Issue was, Mary Keitany was on much faster pace, actually at 2:10:41 pace around 12k! Caroline KIpkirui kept company with Mary Keitany through 20k in 1:03:25, and half marathon in 1:06:53, 94 seconds ahead of the course record.
After that, Mary Keitany ran with abandon, and in the cold corner of hell that only a marathon can provide. Hitting 25k in 1:19:43, Mary Keitany was 80 seconds ahead of the world record pace. A WR was hit a 30k, in 1:36:05, where Mary Keitany was 82 seconds ahead of pace.
And then, Icarus fell back to earth.
Mary Keitany kept her fast running through 35k, where she was 88 seconds ahead of pace, and then, slowly came back to earth.
At 40k, Mary Keitany hit 2:09:38, running 7:23 for the last 2.2k, hitting a new women’s only WR in 2:17:01. Tirunesh Dibaba ran the race of her life, in only her second marathon, in 2:17:56, after some stomach distress around 33 k and regrouping and charging on.
After the race, Mary Keitany told this writer that before the race, she did not believe 2:15 was impossible, but, after her 2:17:01, she changed her opinion of that WR.
And she smiled, because, as Mary Keitany knows, anything is possible.