27,000 runners entered the prestigious race with tens of thousands of fans cheering them on from the sidelines on what is a state-wide holiday, little knowing that they were witnessing history in the making.
"When I was coming to Boston, I was not trying to break the world record. But I see the gift from God," Mutai said. "I’m happy. I don’t have more words to add."
However, the race was not without controversy. Although the Boston Marathon is the oldest and most prestigious marathon in the world, drawing runner’s world-wide, in addition to being considered one of the most difficult courses, the international governing body has declared the conditions on this day to be too easy, and disallowed his record time.
Running under ideal conditions, Mutai had the advantage of a 15 – 20 mph tailwind at his back and a downhill course to aid in breaking last year’s course record set by Robert Kiprono Cheruiyto by almost three minutes, and the former world record held by Ethiopia’s Haile Gebrselassie in Berlin in 2008, who benefitted from having pacesetters. The Boston Marathon does not allow pacesetters.
Even so, Boston officials are ecstatic about the new record set on their course. "We had a stunning performance and an immensely fast time here today," Tom Grilk, the head of the Boston Athletic Association, has said. "We in Boston are well-pleased with what has happened, and that's good unto itself. The definitions of others, I will leave to them."
Mutai earned $150,000 for the win, received $50,000 for the world best, and another $25,000 for the course record.