Kelvin Kiptum (Kenya) after winning London Marathon 2023

Kiptum Is The Raining Champion

Terrific performances in the wet at the TCS London Marathon

The image above says it all. Kelvin Kiptum of Kenya gave his all and ran a stunning course record 2:01:25 in very wet conditions in the TCS London Marathon on Sunday (23 April), only 18 seconds shy of the elite men's race starter Eliud Kipchoge's world record of 2:01:09.

Surely, this was the most exciting London Marathon since the inaugural race on 29 March 1981. Armchair enthusiasts like this reporter were transfixed as Kiptum injected an outrageous burst of speed to become the second-fastest marathon runner in history.   

Geoffrey Kamworor (Kenya, 2:04:23) and Tamirat Tola (Ethiopia, 2:04:59) simply had no response as Kiptum kicked on with an unprecedented negative split of 1:01:40/59:45!

There was an emotional farewell to the London Marathon from 2:05:11 British record holder Sir Mo Farah, now the new British M40 masters record holder (2:10:28), as he found his final marathon an incredibly tough challenge.

Sir Mo was one of four Brits in the top 10 as he narrowly lost a sprint finish to Phil Sesemann (2:10:23 PB) but held off another over-40 veteran, Chris Thompson (2:11:50). Meanwhile, on an encouraging day for GB men's marathon running, Emile Cairess (2:08:07 PB) was an absolute revelation as he finished strongly for sixth in the third fastest time ever run by a British athlete. 

Earlier, the elite women's race had been even more enthralling. Sifan Hassan (Netherlands), racing in her first-ever marathon, overcame a hip problem that caused her to stop and stretch early in the race to hunt down and overtake the best women’s field ever assembled for a marathon.

Hassan left it late but looked supreme as she stormed down The Mall in the driving rain to win in 2:18:33, with a look of sheer disbelief on her face! Kenya’s Alemu Megertu (2:18:37) and Peres Jepchirchir (Kenya, 2:18:38) were the shocked runners-up.

The women's race had lost some of its gloss when top British hope Eilish McColgan withdrew from her anticipated marathon debut due to a knee injury but Samantha Harrison (2:25:59 PB) took a huge six and a half minutes chunk off her previous best to finish eleventh.

With no other GB athletes in the tiny elite field we had to refer to the mass results to find the next best finishers and the top three women were Rebecca McConnell (2:30:29), Rachel Hodgkinson (2:34:46) and Helen Gaunt (2:35:38) in the fifth fastest time ever achieved by a British W40 athlete.  

More than 48,000 were expected to finish the TCS London Marathon, while around the world thousands of people took part in the virtual event, covering their 26.2 miles on a course of their choice at any time between 00:00 and 23:59 on 23 April.

London Marathon results and previous reports at the runABC race listing here.

Image of Kelvin Kiptum courtesy of TCS London Marathon

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