Kenyan athletes dominated today’s Virgin London Marathon events winning both the Men’s and Women’s crowns with impressive winning margins and in exceptionally fast race times.
Emmanuel Mutai smashed the course record today and at the same time left defending champion and fellow countryman, Tsegaye Kebede, way behind, winning in 2:04:40 , making him the fourth fastest man in Marathon history and some half a minute faster than Sammy Wanjiru’s record of two years ago here in London . Kebede could do no better than fifth today though he had started the day hoping to smash the world record.
Three times previous London titleholder,Kenyan, Martin Lel, returning to Marathon running, finished an excellent second, ahead of Patrick Makau – both recording 2: 05:45 – an excellent performance from Lel who has not competed in any Marathon since Beijing 2008.
After his sensational run today the 26 years old Mutai said: “Since I’ve come to run in London I have twice finished fourth and last year I was second,”
“This year I have come back and my dreams have come true. I so much wanted to win a major marathon and this time I did it.”. Mutai also won silver at the last World Championships and came second in the New York Marathon in 2010.
Mary Keitany left Russia’s defending champion Lilaya Shobukhova well behind in the Women’s race ,recording the 2nd fastest ever time for the Women’s event in London ; only Britain’s Paula Radcliffe has covered the course in a faster time. Today, Keitany,the world half marathon record holder strode home alone in 2:19:19 thus joining Irina Mikitenko as the equal fourth fastest woman in Marathon history,and improving her personal best by nearly ten minutes. Shobukhova finished second in 2:20:15 with Edna Kiplagat third in 2:20:46. Kiplagat took the New York crown a year ago.
Surrey’s 31 years old, David Weir won the Wheelchair London Marathon crown for a record fifth time today ,to add to the three Golds he won at the recent I.P.C .World Championships ,in Christchurch.
Weir, who suffered two punctures in last year’s race, when finishing third, moved ahead of Switzerland’s Heinz Frei, over the last 300 metres today , and held on in an exciting finish.
American, Amanda McGrory who took the wheelchair title last week at the Paris Marathon continued where she left off and took the Women’s Wheelchair title here, ahead of Britain’s Shelley Woods. The victory margin today was less than a wheel’s length.
More than 35,000 runners took part in this year’s event,in ideal weather conditions.