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The Early Lead
Posted at 02:50 PM ET, 04/18/2011

Boston Marathon: Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya runs fastest marathon


Moses Mosop, left, and Geoffrey Mutai were running neck and neck with less than a mile to go. (Steven Senne / AP)
Updated at 3:53 p.m.

Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya won the Boston Marathon in 2 hours, 3 minutes and 2 seconds — faster than anyone has run the 26.2 -mile race — but his performance is not recognized as a world record because the race’s hilly course.

The previous fastest marathon time was 2:03:59, set by Haile Gebrselassie in Berlin in 2008.

“I was not having ideas about the course record,” Mutai said. “I knew I could run well because I'd trained hard [in cross country and 10,000-meter races] and I was confident, but the record was not on my mind.”

There was monetary compensation, at least, for the performance. Mutai was awarded $225,000 in total bonuses for the unofficial world record as well as the course record.

Mutai bettered the course record, set last year by Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot of Kenya, by almost three minutes. Moses Mosop finished second, four seconds behing Mutai in a stellar performance in his first official marathon.

“I thought maybe I could do 2:08, 2:07, a time like that,” he said, “but not 2:03, 2:04.”

Gebregziabher Gebremariam, who won the New York Marathon, was third, and Ryan Hall of the U.S. finished fourth.

Caroline Kilel, also of Kenya, was the women’s winner in 2:22:36, edging Desiree Davila by two seconds.

Kilel beat Davila, who led most of the way and was greeted with “USA, USA” chants. Davila finished two seconds behind Kilel. The two traded the lead twice in the final minutes and again in the stretch with Davila leading 200 yards from the finish. Kilel had a kick, though, and won her second marathon of the year.

“I choose Boston because for me it is time to run a major marathon after my win in Frankfurt last year,” Kilel told the Boston Globe.

American runner Kara Goucher was fifth in 2:24:52.

The last American winner in Boston was Lisa Larsen-Weidenbach in 1985.

Bethesda’s Ben Beach, 61, completed his 44th Boston Marathon, finishing in 4:33:35.

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