Kenya's Mary Keitany broke Paula Radcliffe's women-only world record to win the London Marathon on Sunday, while her compatriot Daniel Wanjiru also seized glory over the 26.2-mile distance.
Keitany came home in a time of two hours, 17 minutes and one second, dominating the rest of the field. Ethiopia's Tirunesh Dibaba and Aselefech Mergia finished in second and third, respectively.
Meanwhile, Wanjiru showed great determination to hold off a late rally from the legendary Kenenisa Bekele, posting a mark of 2:05:49. Kenya's Bedan Karoki took third.
Below are the top finishers from one of the world's most iconic marathon races and a full recap of what's always a tremendous spectacle of sport.
|London Marathon 2017: Top Finishers|
|1.||Daniel Wanjiru (KEN) - 2:05:48||Mary Keitany (KEN) - 2:17:01|
|2.||Kenenisa Bekele (ETH) - 2:05:57||Tirunesh Dibaba (ETH) - 2:17:56|
|3.||Bedan Karoki (KEN) - 2:07:41||Aselefech Mergia (ETH) - 2:23:08|
Full results are available via the London Marathon website.
While there's plenty of focus on the serious side of the London Marathon, the event is renowned for the amount of fun runners involved and the inventive fancy dress costumes on show.
The event's official Twitter feed shared some of the best:
In the elite races, the focus was on a fast pace rather than just finishing, and those involved did set off at searing speed. At halfway, the leading men were on course for a new world record.
It looked to be too much for the legendary Bekele, as he dropped back from the leading group and appeared to be in some distress. Wanjiru, meanwhile, broke away at the front.
Somehow Bekele was able to muster something special and clawed his way back into the leading bunch and then to within sight of the leader. As noted by the Guardian's Sean Ingle, it was a remarkable fightback from the Ethiopian:
Indeed, just nine seconds separated Bekele from Wanjiru as they passed 40 kilometres, with a thrilling climax in store.
For much of the last mile, Bekele looked strong and capable of shutting down the gap. But Wanjiru was able to find something extra in the dying embers, and as he moved past Buckingham Palace into the home straight, he was pulling away from Bekele.
Eventually he had more than enough to come home in first position. Per Christopher Clarey of the New York Times, holding off Bekele in a dash to the finish is some accomplishment:
The highlight of the day came in the women's event, though. The pace set by Keitany in the early portion of the women's race was nothing short of blistering, as she left the rest of the field trailing, and at the halfway mark, she was on to break the overall world record also held by Radcliffe.
Indeed, as noted by sports journalist Nick Harris, she went through 30 kilometres much faster than any woman has before:
The effects of that early assault did begin to take their toll on the leader in the final third of the race. While she was a long way clear of the chasing pack, her pace did begin to slow, and the overall world-record mark of 2:15:25 did look to be out of her reach; the women's only one was still on, though.
A little further back, the pace was having an effect on the other competitors. Dibaba, who typically excels over this distance, was looking in real trouble with a mile to go:
Those issues meant Keitany could enjoy the final stages of the race untroubled, and she picked the pace up again with the women-only world record of 2:17:42 in sight.
In the end, she came through well under that mark and will surely have Radcliffe's time in sight next time she goes the marathon distance.