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2019 U.S. and world marathon rankings

2019 Chicago Marathon

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - OCTOBER 13: Brigid Kosgei of Kenya poses for a photo after breaking the world record to win the 2019 Bank of America Chicago Marathon on October 13, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

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The last full year of marathons before the 2020 Olympics saw not only Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge‘s successful bid to break the two-hour mark under controlled conditions but also a women’s world record and four of the fastest men’s times ever.

Brigid Kosgei of Kenya took more than a minute off Paula Radcliffe‘s 16-year-old record, winning the Chicago Marathon in 2:14:01.

FAST TIMES: Kosgei, Kipchoge herald new era

Kipchoge still holds the world record of 2:01:39, set in the 2018 Berlin Marathon 14 months ago. But Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia came within two seconds of that mark in this year’s Berlin race, and Kipchoge himself won the London Marathon with the third-fastest time in history (2:02:37).

Add the runners-up from those races — Ethiopians Birhanu Legese (Berlin, 2:02:48) and Mosinet Geremew (London, 2:02:55) — and the four fastest times behind Kipchoge’s world record were posted in the past seven months.

The top U.S. runner on the IAAF’s compilation of the year’s best times is Sara Hall, whose time of 2:22:16 in Berlin tied for 33rd on the list. (The IAAF site currently has a glitch listing a U.S. runner higher on the list; the time is incorrect.) Emily Sisson was 49th with her 2:23:08 in London. Sally Kipyego‘s 2:25:10 in Berlin ranks 93rd. (Add times from courses the IAAF considers “irregular” for various reasons, and Kipyego ranks 96th.)

With Galen Rupp out of action while recovering from Achilles surgery, the only U.S. runner among the top 100 was Leonard Korir (tied for 87th, 2:07:56, Amsterdam), but nine of the top 10 U.S. times in the Olympic cycle were posted this year. Only Rupp’s 2:06:07 from Prague in May 2018 ranks higher.

The two next-fastest U.S. men’s times from 2019 were at the Boston Marathon, which the IAAF considers “irregular” because the finish line isn’t near the start line and the overall elevation at the finish line is lower than the start.

The top U.S. women’s times from the Olympic cycle still belong to Jordan Hasay (2:20:57, Chicago 2017) and Amy Cragg (2:21:42, Tokyo 2018), followed by Hall and Sisson.

USA Track and Field will hold its Olympic marathon trials Feb. 29 in Atlanta.

The fastest times of the year (* - on “irregular” course) ...

U.S. men

Leonard Korir2:07:56Amsterdam11th
Scott Fauble2:09:09Boston*7th
Jared Ward2:09:25Boston*8th
Jacob Riley2:10:36Chicago9th
Jerrell Mock2:10:37Chicago10th
Jared Ward2:10:45New York City6th
Parker Stinson2:10:53Chicago11th
Andrew Bumbalough2:10:56Chicago12th
Matt McDonald2:11:10Chicago14th
Matt Llano2:11:14Berlin14th
Scott Smith2:11:34Chicago15th

U.S. women

Sara Hall2:22:16Berlin5th
Emily Sisson2:23:08London6th
Sally Kipyego2:25:10Berlin7th
Jordan Hasay2:25:20Boston*3rd
Emma Bates2:25:27Chicago4th
Kellyn Johnson2:26:27Prague4th
Molly Huddle2:26:33London12th
Desiree Linden2:26:46New York City6th
Aliphine Chepkerker Tuliamuk2:26:50Rotterdam3rd
Kellyn Johnson2:27:00New York City7th

World men

Kenenisa Bekele (ETH)2:01:41Berlin1st
Eliud Kipchoge (KEN)2:02:37London1st
Birhanu Legese (ETH)2:02:48Berlin2nd
Mosinet Geremew (ETH)2:02:55London2nd
Mule Washihun (ETH)2:03:16London3rd
Getaneh Molla (ETH)2:03:34Dubai1st
Sisay Lemma (ETH)2:03:36Berlin3rd
Herpasa Negasa (ETH)2:03:40Dubai2nd
Marius Kipserem (KEN)2:04:11Rotterdam1st
Asefa Mengstu (ETH)2:04:24Dubai3rd

World women

Brigid Kosgei2:14:04Chicago1st
Ruth Chepngetich2:17:08Dubai1st
Worknesh Degefa2:17:41Dubai2nd
Brigid Kosgei2:18:20London1st
Valary Jemeli2:19:10Frankfurt1st
Degitu Azimeraw2:19:26Amsterdam1st
Lonah Chemtai Salpeter2:19:46Prague1st
Tigist Girma2:19:52Amsterdam2nd
Vivian J. Cheruiyot2:20:14London2nd
Ashtete Bekere2:20:14Berlin1st

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