The women’s marathon was won by Britain’s Paula Radcliffe, who finished 9th in the 10,000m race 8 days earlier. Radcliffe took an early lead and then broke from the pack in the final third of the race to finish in a world championship time of 2 hours, 20 minutes and 57 seconds; that is more than 5 minutes slower than her world record time of 2:15:25.

She was challenged repeatedly by Romanian Constantina Tomescu, who was only 1 second behind her at the 15 mile mark. Tomescu finished third, behind Catherine Ndereba.

Turena Johnson-Lane was the first American, finishing in 26th place in 2:34:43. Emily Levan was the third American, finishing in 35th place with a personal best time of 2:38:32. She had won the Maine division of the Beach to Beacon 10k road race a week earlier.