Kenenisa Bekele is one of the most successful distance runners of all time, with three Olympic gold medals, six World Championship golds - five outdoors and one indoor - plus 11 World Cross Country Championship gold medals. But he took on a new challenge last Sunday, as the 31-year-old ran his first marathon, in Paris, and won the race in a course record 2:05:04. Bekele wasn't challenged for about the last dozen kilometers - fellow Ethiopian Limenih Getachew eventually took second in 2:06:49 - but even without being pushed Bekele still posted the sixth-best marathon debut in history. Flomena Cheyech of Kenya won the women's race in 2:22:44.
The rarely-run 4 x 1500-meter relay has a new women's world record as of April 5. The Kenyan quartet of Anne Karingi, Margaret Chelimo, Eunice Sum and Hellen Obiri finished the event in 17:08.17 at the Athletics Kenya Relay Series meet in Nairobi. A University of Tennessee team set the former mark of 17:08.34 in 2009.