There was a race within a race on Sunday at the London Marathon. The women’s event saw the top five finish in a blistering sub-2:21. A year ago, Brigid Kosgei, 25, of Kenya finished second to her compatriot Vivian Cheruiyot here in London, but today it was Kosgei taking a decisive victory in a new personal best of 2:18:20. (Kosgei also won the Bank of America Chicago Marathon in 2018.) Cheruiyot was almost two minutes back for second place, in 2:20:14. The race for third was won by 21-year-old Roza Dereje of Ethiopia in 2:20:51.
But many eyes were on the two American women, Molly Huddle and Emily Sisson. The training partners ran well, but Sisson took the day. She finished in 2:23:08 for sixth place, which is only eight seconds off of Jordan Hasay’s record-setting debut of 2:23:00 and an American women’s-only record. Huddle finish in 12th place, just ahead of her former personal best.
Only five American women have ever gone under 2:23.
All signs pointed to Sisson being ready for a big day on Sunday. Sisson ran within seconds of Huddle’s American half-marathon record in Houston earlier this year. Then the two women competed against each other last weekend at the Stanford Invitational 10,000m, where Sisson came out on top in 30:49 and the third fastest American woman of all time. Deena Kastor’s American record of 2:19:36 may not be within reach just yet, but it likely will be one day soon for these women.