Record-breaking runs in Boston

Geoffrey Mutai breaks Boston Marathon record and runs almost a minute faster than Gebrselassie's world record.

To say it was a historic day in Boston would be an understatement. The top two finishers were under the Haile Gebrselassie’s world record of 2:03:59, on a course that is traditionally known to be slow and unforgiving.

Kenya’s Geoffrey Mutai crossed the line in a blistering 2:03:02, just ahead of countryman Moses Mosop, who was second in 2:03:06. Ryan Hall ran the fastest marathon ever by an American, finishing fourth in 2:04:58. Mutai’s time was nearly three minutes faster than Robert Cheruiyot’s previous Boston Marathon record of 2:05:52.

None of these performances will be considered for IAAF records, however, since the course is a net downhill, point-to-point route. Running columnist, and 1968 Boston champion, Amby Burfoot predicted that the tailwind would also likely ignite a controversy over the race times.

In their Science of Sport blog, Ross Tucker and Jonathan Dugas estimate that the wind helped the runners by about three to four minutes, compared to what Boston would have been like on a still day.

Despite the wind advantage, Athletics Canada confirmed that if any Canadian had set a national record or achieved the Olympic Standard in Boston, it would have counted, since the Boston Marathon is on the IAAF list of qualifying marathons for the London 2012 Games.

The women’s race also provided a thrilling finish with Kenya’s Caroline Kilel outsprinting American Desiree Davila, claiming the victory in 2:22:36. No American man or woman has won the Boston Marathon since 1985. The last Canadian to win the race was Jerome Drayton in 1977.

David Le Porho of Montreal was the top Canadian finisher, 84th in 2:29:23.  Jen Nicholson of Cornwall, P.E.I., was the top Canadian woman in 2:47:00, 34th in the women’s division.