Eliud Kipchoge cemented his status as one of the all-time great marathon runners on Sunday, as he raced to victory in the London Marathon.
The Kenyan was in total control of the race and clinched his third victory around this course with a time of two hours, four minutes and 27 seconds. Tola Shura Kitata came home in a surprise second spot for Ethiopia, while Great Britain's Mo Farah delighted the home supporters to take third in a new national record.
Earlier on, Vivian Cheruiyot raced to victory in the women's race, as she timed a late surge to perfection, finishing in a time of 2:18:31 and a long way clear of fellow Kenyan Brigid Kosgei and Ethiopia's Tadelech Bekele.
Here are the top finishers from both races and a recap of what is always a highlight on the marathon calendar.
1. Eliud Kipchoge (KEN)—2:04:27
2. Tola Shura Kitata (ETH)—2:05:00
3. Mo Farah (GBR)—2:06:32
1. Vivian Cheruiyot (KEN)—2:18:31
2. Brigid Kosgei (KEN)—2:20:13
3. Tadelech Bekele (ETH)—2:21:40
For the race result in full visit the London Marathon website.
In warm and windless conditions, there were hopes world records could fall in both the men's and women's races.
Starting first, the elite women were clearly thinking of beating Paula Radcliffe's mark of 2:15:25 from 2003, with the pacemakers taking them out at a searing speed. Only Mary Keitany and Tirunesh Dibaba were able to stick with them.
At the halfway point, Keitany had built up a substantial lead, although as the race rumbled on, she dropped off world-record pace. Team GB runner Tom Farrell suggested his compatriot would be pleased:
With little chance of the world record being broken as Keitany entered the final third of the race, her focus shifted to winning the race. However, after such a harsh early pace, it was no surprise to see the leader slowing as she approached the 20-mile mark.
It gave the chasers a chance and Cheruiyot started to move up; with four miles to go, she had the leader in sight, and with three to go, the Kenyan overtook her compatriot.
She kept on going and in the end was able to savour the final stages, building up a massive margin. A long way behind her, Keitany was going backwards, allowing Kosgei and Bekele to take second and third spot. The event's official account relayed the winning moment:
In the men's event, the most popular man out on course was four-time Olympic track champion Farah, as he sought to improve on his eighth place finish from last year. As we can see here, courtesy of BBC Sport, he had some issues with his water bottle early on.
Like the women's race, the pace was brutal in the first half of the men's event, as they went through the first half of the race in 61 minutes, per sports scientist Ross Tucker:
Unsurprisingly, there was only a small group at the front as they raced towards the last third, with Farah, Kipchoge and Kitata breaking free of the field.
Kipchoge started to up the ante in the latter stages, as an injection of speed saw him shake off Farah, but Kitata was able to last the pace.
It was a two-man win scrap for victory at this point, although Kipchoge was looking peerless at the front and capable of going through another gear. In the end he did so and was an emphatic winner ahead of a exhausted Kitata. Farah, meanwhile, clung on to finish third.