Two world records were set in the indoor marathon at the Armory in New York City on Saturday afternoon. Malcolm Richards ran 2:21:55.7 to set the men’s world indoor marathon record and local Manhattan resident Allie Kieffer ran 2:44:43.9 to set the women’s record.
The 42.195K distance involved running just short of 211 laps at the Armory’s 200m track. The facility, located in Manhattan, regularly hosts some of the winter’s most competitive indoor track and field events with Saturday’s race being the inaugural indoor marathon.
Richards, 33, took more than five minutes off the previous world record, 2:27:21 held by American Michael Wardian. Second-place finisher Tony Migliozzi, the IAU 50K world champion, finished second in 2:24:02, also under the previous world record.
Kieffer, 28, took nine minutes off the previous women’s record, which was set in Toronto by Monika Kalicinska (2:53:53). The former standout runner at Wake Forest University in North Carolina was the only woman to run the individual indoor marathon on Saturday.
Runners ran clockwise for an hour before turning around and running counterclockwise for the remainder of the race, which turned out to be a roughly 60-minute and 90-minute split for the lead group. While running triple digit laps on a track doesn’t sound ideal (maybe for NASCAR races) competitors noted that the lack of wind, hills, and weather variation were beneficial.
Canadian Calum Neff finished third in the men’s race in 2:28:52 and took home US$250 for his efforts. The Houston resident will be running the Wings for Life World Run in Niagara Falls on May 8 and used the indoor marathon as a tune-up.
Neff, who has run 2:22:59 for the marathon, told Canadian Running before the race that “between the three of us [Richards, Migliozzi and himself] I would say it’s not a matter of if the record will happen tomorrow, but who [will be the one set a new WR]. My plan is to just get in the mix with these guys.” That prediction turned out to be accurate.
— Calum Neff (@CalNeff) April 9, 2016
Richards and Kieffer took home US$5,000 each for setting the records in addition to the US$1,000 prize given to the first-place finishers.
Neff, the half-marathon world record holder for pushing a stroller, wasted no time in bouncing back from the race as he did a 16K training run on Sunday morning with Migliozzi.
— Calum Neff (@CalNeff) April 10, 2016