Marathon

London Marathon 2014: Top Moments from Coveted Race

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13:  A general view as competitors make their way down the mall during the Virgin Money London Marathon on April 13, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)
Tom Dulat/Getty Images
Rory MarsdenFeatured ColumnistApril 14, 2014

The London Marathon took place on Sunday with professionals and amateurs alike pounding the streets of the UK's capital for more than 26 miles.

Kenya claimed both the men's and women's events with Wilson Kipsang and Edna Kiplagat winning their respective races.

Mo Farah also featured in his marathon debut, eventually coming eighth in a time of 2:08:20. Meanwhile fellow Brit David Weir narrowly missed out on a seventh victory in the men's wheelchair race.

The quadruple-gold medallist from the 2012 Paralympics was beaten into second by Marcel Hug, as reported by BBC Sport:

Read on for a look at some of the top moments from Sunday's action. 

 

Kipsang Breaks Course Record

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13:  Wilson Kipsang crosses the finish line after winning the Men's Elite race at the Virgin London Marathon on April 13, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
Karwai Tang/Getty Images

Kipsang is a modern great of marathon running and set the world record of 2:03:23 in Berlin last year, per BBC Sport.

And up against the best field ever assembled for the London Marathon, he set a new course record of 2:04.27 in an imperious performance.

The Kenyan claimed his second London marathon victory, his first coming in 2012—although he could only claim a bronze medal in the Olympic race that year—winning by 26 seconds in the end from Stanley Biwott.

The beginning of the race saw the lead pack, with celebrity pace-maker Haile Gebrselassie, set off at a sub-world-record pace and Kipsang went with them.

With just over six miles remaining, Kipsang broke and only Biwott could go with him. But even his fellow Kenyan was eventually left in his wake and Kipsang cruised home. 

And he hit his target, as he explained afterwards to BBC Sport:

I took advantage of controlling the pace and the guys.

I saw that Biwott was really strong. It was becoming more tricky.

My main target was to win and run a course record.

Meanwhile Farah struggled on his marathon debut, but he told the BBC afterwards that he was not done with it: "Yeh, definitely, 100%. I'm not going to finish it like this. I will be back."

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: Mo Farah looks on after coming 8th at the Virgin London Marathon on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)
Tom Dulat/Getty Images

Thus despite some speculation that his relatively poor showing would see Farah return to the track full time, it seems that he will continue in his aim of competing at the top level in marathon running.

But he will almost certainly attempt to defend his Olympic 5000m and 10000m titles in Brazil in 2016, two events in which he most definitely can claim to be the best.

 

Sprint Finish for the Women

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13:  Edna Kiplagat of Kenya leads Florence Kiplagat of Kenya as they pass Buckingham Palace during the Virgin London Marathon on April 13, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Miles Willis/Getty Images)
Miles Willis/Getty Images

While Kipsang ran home alone in the men's race, Kiplagat was accompanied by her namesake Florence Kiplagat past Buckingham Palace and down the Mall for the finish. 

The pair were neck and neck with less than 400 yards to go, but when the world champion kicked on, she was not to be caught.

A mightily impressive effort from Kiplagat, she finally claimed victory in London, having finished on the podium on her three previous races in the city but having never won.

She eventually won by three seconds in a time of 2:20:21 with Tirunesh Dibaba coming in third on her marathon debut.

There was also a sprint finish in the men's wheelchair race with Weir just being pipped to the post by the Swiss Hug.

Weir tweeted afterwards to thank the throngs of supporters who lined the streets for the event, gracious in defeat:

 

Great British Public

As ever with the London Marathon, the main event actually comes after the professionals have crossed the finish line.

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13:  Runners enjoy the atmosphere as they make their way over Tower Bridge during the Virgin Money London Marathon on April 13, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)
Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

A total of 36,000 runners took to the course, per the Express, including those running for innumerable charities and those who decided to run in fancy dress.

According to Metro, a total of 29 Guinness world records were broken including the much-coveted best times for a male and female athlete completing the course in wedding dresses.

Meanwhile, there were plenty of celebrities involved as usual. Former England striker Michael Owen tweeted after completing the run:

And Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, who was spectating, shared his congratulations for all those involved:

A fine event and one that continues to grow and grow in popularity, both with the runners and with the thousands who come out to support.

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