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Imagine this: running a marathon. Now imagine this: running a marathon by running 211 laps around a 200-meter track. As if the thought isn’t painful enough, this is an actual event at the Armory NYC Indoor Marathon, where elite runners compete for more than 2 hours on a track. In its second year, the event garnered attention in the running community because two world records fell this year.
Laura Manninen, 43, of Espoo, Finland, overtook New York City’s Kate Pallardy with 40 laps to go en route to a 2 hours, 42 minutes, 30 seconds, to establish the new women’s indoor marathon world record. Her finish time beat last year’s inaugural mark by more than 2 minutes. Pallardy, running for Central Park Track Club, finished in 2:44:11.
Manninen said she didn’t panic, though she trailed Pallardy by 200 meters for much of the race. “I was still ahead of my time so I tried to keep a steady pace,” Manninen said in a press release. “With 20 laps to go people started shouting I ‘will do it.’ I didn’t think about the record too much and continued to run my race.
“This is something special, but every race is something special to me. Of course, this is unique.” Manninen received $5,000 for the women’s world record bonus and $1,000 for the win.
Pallardy was happy with her run as well, which set a fresh American record for the indoor marathon.
“Laura is really a strong runner,” Pallardy said. “I saw where last year during the New York City Marathon she did the first half and the second half in the exact same splits. That tells me this girl knows what she’s doing. If I was going to have a chance in this I had to make her run faster or try to get ahead.
“I couldn’t hold on. Listen, I’m happy because this is my first marathon back since my having my second kid.”