Kenya's Mary Keitany set the fastest time in a women-only marathon as she won the London Marathon for the third time on Sunday in an unofficial 2 hours 17 minutes 01 seconds. She becomes the fastest women to cross the line in a “Women Only” Elite marathon. According to the IAAF, the women’s world record still belongs to Paula Radcliffe who came home in 2:15:25 in the 2003 London Marathon in a “Mixed Gender” race. Keitany's previous wins in the London event were in 2011 and 2012.
Keitany beats Dibaba in London Marathon
The 35-year-old, who also has three New York Marathon victories, beat Ethiopian track great Tirunesh Dibaba by almost a minute. Keitany went out at breakneck speed, helped by a pacemaker, and was on record pace when left on her own with about 10 miles to go. And Dibaba was the only one who looked capable of throwing down some sort of challenge.
Keitany started to pay for her early efforts but Dibaba, known as the 'Baby Faced Destroyer', made little inroads into the Kenyan's lead, trailing her by over a minute at the 18-mile mark.
Dibaba pulls up
However, the Ethiopian did make some ground up as the Kenyan slowed, but just as she had Keitany in her sights, Dibaba started to feel her stomach and came to a halt briefly. She managed to get going again but her chance of victory was gone and Keitany came home alone to great roars from the massed crowd on The Mall.
Keitany will head to August's World Athletics Championships in London hoping to have a happier experience than back in 2012 when she flopped in the Olympics in London, having won the London Marathon a few months prior to it.