|Josh Cox crosses the finish line in a new American-record time of two hours, 43 minutes and 45 seconds.|
Josh Cox, a 1998 Liberty graduate, enjoyed quite an eventful and successful Sunday morning. He became the first American male ever to win the P.F. Chang's Rock ‘n' Roll Arizona Marathon. Cox then continued on past the finish line to shatter his own American record in the 50K (slightly over 31 miles), clocking a time of 2:43:45.
Cox fell just seven seconds shy of the 50K world record (2:43:38), which has been held by South Africa's Thompson Magawana since 1988. However, he lopped more than three and a half minutes off of his own American standard, a 2:47:17 effort achieved on the same course on Jan. 18, 2009.
Cox, who lives and trains in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., finished Sunday's marathon in 2:17:32, defeating runner-up Solomon Kandie of Kenya by 1:08. He then headed to nearby Arizona State University, completing the remainder of his 50K at the Sun Angel Stadium track. Cox churned out a 71-second lap on his final revolution of the track, but could not quite chase down the world record time.