Ireland’s cross-country star Fionnuala McCormack has secured a place at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after smashing her personal best time at the 2019 Chicago Marathon, finishing fifth.
The 35-year old finished in a time of 2:26:47, cutting an astonishing four minutes off her previous PB of 2:30.38, which she recorded earlier this year at the Boston Marathon.
The Kilcoole Athletic Club runner’s time moves her up past both Sonia O’Sullivan (2:29:01, London Marathon – 2005) and Carey May (2:28:07, Osaka International Ladies Marathon – 1985) to make her time the second fastest ever run by an Irishwoman.
Catherina McKiernan currently holds the Irish record with a time of 2:22:23 set in Amsterdam back in 1998.
It’s been a sensational return to racing for McCormack, who only recently made her return to marathon racing in Boston earlier this year. Astoundingly, this was McCormack’s first marathon since the Rio 2016 Olympics and she this was just six months after giving birth to her daughter, Isla. The two-time Euro X-Country Champion crossed in 11th place, the highest placed European.
There were more records broken at the Chicago Marathon as Kenyan, Brigid Kosgei, broke Paula Radcliffe’s 16-year old world record completing the course in a time of 2:14:2 – bettering Radcliffe’s previous record by 81 seconds.
The 25-year-old Kosgei ripped up the record books and was congratulated at the finish line by Radcliffe herself.
If it hasn’t been done before, it’s yours to claim.— Nike (@Nike) October 13, 2019
Brigid Kosgei becomes the fastest woman in history to run 26.2 miles with a time of 2:14:04. Congrats on your World Record and second consecutive victory at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. #justdoit #chicagomarathon pic.twitter.com/7wQYJvCRWx