Set By: Paula Radcliffe
If it seems absolutely ridiculous that there is a difference between "world record" and "world best," then you're right. This time is apparently a world best because Radcliffe set it in a race where she was paced by men. However, that doesn't change the fact that it's over two minutes better than any women's marathon time, ever. Her speed is unmatched in the sport, as practically no women have been able to keep up with her pace in even a half marathon setting. The only threat to Radcliffe's record is Radcliffe herself.