Was He Snubbed? Boston Marathon Winner Sets World Record But Won’t Be Recognized

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Brian Snyder / Reuters

Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya crosses the finish line to win the men's division of the 2011 Boston Marathon in a time of 2:03:02.

Kenya’s Geoffrey Mutai was propelled by a tailwind and a downhill course in a record-shattering run. But because the environmental factors worked in his favor, his time won’t be recognized as the new standard.

The world’s oldest annual marathon kicked off Monday morning in Boston as nearly 27,000 runners pounded the pavement. Tens of thousands of Bostonians were on hand to cheer for the racers – after all, the day is a statewide holiday – and they witnessed a historic race.

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Geoffrey Mutai from Kenya crossed the finish line in 2:03:02. His time busts the former ultimate world record set in the 2008 Berlin Marathon by Ethiopian athlete Haile Gebrselassie. Mutai ran the Boston course from Hopkinton to Back Bay nearly three minutes faster than the previous course record, set just last year.

But because of a 14 mph tail wind and a hilly course, Mutai’s clock-in won’t become the official time to beat in the future, though he’s still listed as the 2011 marathon’s winner. Mutai’s previous best was 2:04:54 at last year’s Rotterdam Marathon in the Netherlands.

Even if he’s not officially recognized as the world record holder, he can take comfort in the $225,000 headed his way for crossing the finish line first and breaking the course and world records.

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