Business, Finance & Economics

Kenyan breaks New York marathon record


Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya reacts as he crosses the finish line to win the ING New York City Marathon on Nov. 6, 2011, in New York.


Don Emmert

In two hours, five minutes and six seconds, Geoffery Mutai set a new record for the New York marathon, running it a full two minutes faster than the previous record-holder.

The 30-year-old Kenyan also set an unofficial new world record for marathon running in Boston in April when he ran the course in just over two hours and three minutes. Officials said that Boston records do not count because the course is too flat and has too many downhill sections.

Nevertheless, Mutai’s victories, which are creeping every closer to the 2-hour Holy Grail of marathon running, make him a favorite for gold at next year’s 2012 London Olympics.

He is not alone. Kenyans have dominated distance-running this year. At the Athletics World Championships in South Korea this summer Kenyan runners took gold in the men's 800m, 1500m and marathon and the women's 5000m, 10000m and marathon.

Another Kenyan, Patrick Makau, is the current world record holder after running the Berlin Marathon in September in a time just a minute and a half faster than Mutai.

The victories are all the sweeter coming just months after the death of Sammy Wanjiru, a young Kenyan runner who won gold in the marathon at the Beijing Olympics at just 21 years of age. Wanjiru died when he fell from a first-floor balcony after a row with his wife.

More: Kenya: The business of running