Why exactly was Geoffrey Mutai's 2:03:02 in Boston (2011) not deemed the marathon World Record at the time?

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    Just waiting for someone to run faster so the real answer can become, "Because so-and-so ran 2:03:01 in Berlin on $DATE." – pjmorse Oct 24 '12 at 13:19
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    :) and there it is. – pjmorse Sep 28 '14 at 9:04

The course for the Boston Marathon does not meet two of the criteria necessary for ratification of world or American records:

  • "The start and finish points of a course, measured along a theoretical straight line between them, shall not be further apart than 50% of the race distance." [i.e., 13.1 miles (21.1 km) for the ~26.2 mile (~42.2 km) marathon distance]
  • "The decrease in elevation between the start and finish shall not exceed an average of one in a thousand, i.e. 1m per km." [i.e., 42.2 m for the ~42.2 km marathon distance]

The Boston course has an endpoint about 24.3 miles (39 km) from the start point, and the endpoint is also 459 feet (139 m) lower than the start point.

source: wikipedia

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Due to the fact that the Boston course is a net downhill in excess of the limit allowed by the world record setting body.

His time is recognized as the fastest marathon ever...but not the world record.

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Because Dennis Kimetto ran 2:02:57 in Berlin on September 28, 2014.

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    Just in case nobody gets the joke: the answer selected as accepted was correct at the time of asking. For 3+ years, Mutai's time was the fastest ever, but not the WR; now Kimetto's mark from Berlin is both (pending ratification). – pjmorse Sep 29 '14 at 14:12
  • ...and now that Eliud Kipchoge has run sub-2:02, even this answer is wrong. :) – pjmorse Dec 11 '18 at 19:26

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