This is a strange game, isn’t it? Here we see the great Mary Keitany winning her third Virgin Money London Marathon in 2:17:01, and for the rest of the morning we try to figure out where her performance stands in the list of best-ever women’s marathons.
Now, forgetting all this mixed-gender, women’s-only, point-to-point, downhill or loop course qualifiers, Mary’s 2:17:01 is the second fastest women’s finishing time ever posted behind Paula Radcliffe’s 2:15:25, London 2003. But on the coverage shown in the USA by NBCSN her time was referred to as the fastest time ever in a women’s-only race, bettering Paula’s 2:17:42 from London 2005. But even that 2005 London time ranks behind Paula’s 2:17:18 from Chicago 2002. Confused?
When reading through the chattering class on LetsRun.com, and referring to my own 2002 journal when I covered the women’s race for NBC5 in Chicago, we remember LetsRun co-founder Weldon Johnson served as Paula’s “escort”, if not rabbit per se. But when Paula smashed that Chicago mark in London the following spring with her magical 2:15:25, she was also “escorted” by two Kenyan guys the entire way. (more…)