Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya ran the fastest marathon ever Monday in capturing the 115th Boston Marathon. Taking advantage of ideal weather conditions — a brisk tailwind and cool temperatures — Mutai finished the hilly, 26.2-mile course in 2 hours 3 minutes 2 seconds, edging his countryman Moses Mosop by four seconds.
Out of the last 20 Boston Marathons, Kenyan men have won 17, Ethiopians two, and a South Korean one. And the marathon isn't really the Kenyans' best distance. They seem to be most dominant at about an order of magnitude shorter, such as 3000 meters. On the other hand, the Kenyans specialize in the Boston Marathon -- it's their Olympic marathoning team trial in Olympic years, so just looking at the Boston results gives an exaggerated view of Kenyan dominance of marathoning. The true Kenyan superiority is at middle-long distances, not the marathon.