2014 Virgin London Marathon: Battle of the Kiplagats: Edna wins, Wilson Kipsang sets CR, Mo Farah debuts, by Larry Eder

On a beautful spring day in London, Wilson Kipsang, the world record holder, and Edna KIplagat, the two time World Champion, prevailed over nearly 37,000 of their closest companions. Here is how we saw the race develop: 

It was a race worthy of the Virgin Money London Marathon. 

On a beautiful, sunny day, nearly 37,000 runners left the start of the London Marathon to tour the historic city of London. Different goals for many. For the 23 men and 17 women in the elite fields, this was a battle for the win. 

On the women's side, Edna Kiplagat and Florence Kiplagat, accompanied by Tirunesh Dibaba, in her debut, were probably surprised at how soon Priscah Jeptoo retired from the race (18 miles), and then, they were off! 

The race was fast and furious from early on, hitting the 5k in 16:46, 10k in 32:06, 15k in 49:05 and 20k in 65:38. Tiki Gelana dropped back by this time, as Priscah Jeptoo, Edna Kiplagat, Tirunesh Dibaba and Florence Kiplagat, barely holding on, it seemed early on, ran together, with two pacers up front. 

The half way was hit in 69:15. 

The pack was down to Jeptoo, Kiplagats and Dibaba as they hit 25k in 1:22:18. 

Around 30 kilometers, Tirunesh Dibaba, who had looked good til then, dropped her water bottle and stopped to get it. Edna Kiplagat and Florence Kiplagat then took off, and ran, side by side, until 26 miles. 

With 300 meters to go, Edna Kiplagat, who has placed second here twice and third once, finally got her win, taking the 2014 Virgin Money London Marathon in 2:20:21. Florence Kiplagat was second in 2:20:24 and Tirunesh Dibaba, in her debut, was third in 2:20:35. 

The men's race was, as is the case here, always fast. The lead pack of men, with Tsegaye Kebede, Geoffrey Mutai, Wilson Kipsang, Stanley Biwott, Emmanuel Mutai, among others (about twenty), hit the 5k in 14:21 and 10k in 29:11. 

Pace making chores were being done by Haile Gebrselassie. But, in a litmus test on how fast the pace was, Haile G. who was hoping to first go to 30k, then halfway, was gone before the halfway. 

In the second pack, Mo Farah and Ibrahim Jeilan ran side by side, as they hit the 10k in 29:56. About this time, Mo Farah saw how far he was behind the lead back, and gamely tried to cut the margin down, but with no help from his fellow runners in the pack nor the pacemakers.

15k was hit in 44:06 and 20k in 59:15. The pace was strong, and the lead pack, now down to eight, was running well. Wilson Kipsang tested about 20k, but let the pack catch up. There would be more time to make a move. 

Passing the halfway in 62:30 was Tsegaye Kebede, the defending champion, Wilson Kipsang, the world record holder, Geoffrey Mutai the fastest man EVER, Emmanuel Mutai, Tsegaye Mekonnen the Dubai winner (and questionable 18 year old), Stanley Biwott. Mo Farah was in twelfth place, hitting the halfway in 63:08. 

The 25k was hit in 1:13:58 as people began to test.  As Wilson Kipsang and Stanley Biwott broke the race open between 30k (1:29:01) and 35k (1:43:34) as Biwott and Kipsang charged away.

Meanwhile Mo Farah is learning about the " Miles of Trials and Trials of Miles" (quoting Once a Runner again), as he runs in no mans land. His half way was not bad, 63:08, but he was learning about the second half of the marathon. 

Wilson Kipsang, the World record holder at 2:03:23, was a man possessed. Kipsang took control after 40k and started to build up some distance between himself and Mr. Biwott. 

Stanley Biwott, who had faded dismally in in 2013, did not do the same in 2014. He was one second behind at 40k (1:58:12), and gave up twenty-five more seconds between 40k and 42.2k.

Wilson Kipsang showed the world today who is the best male marathoner in the world, with his course record win in 2:04:26 here. Stanley Biwott was second in 2:04:55, with 2013 winner Tsegaye Kebede in third in 2:06:30 and Ayele Abshero fourth in 2:06:31. Fifth place was Tsegaye Mekonnen, who ran 2:08:06.

In eighth place was Mo Farah, who ran 2:08:26, having run his debut marathon, and learnt a bit about the distance. He did not get the UK record today.

Somewhere, along the course, our friend, Steve Jones, the current British record holder, should be getting a bit more respect. 2:07:13 is a very nice time, thank you.

My guess is, the British Marathon record will last for thirty plus years. 

2014 Virgin Money London Marathon, Women, 1. Edna Kiplagat, KEN, 2:20:20, 2. Florence Kiplagat, KEN, 2:20:22, 3. Tirunesh Dibaba (ETH), 2:20;34, 4. Feyse Tadese, ETH, 2:21:42, 5. Aberu Kebede, ETH, 2:23:11, 6. Jessica Augusto, POR, 2:24:55, 7. Tetyana Shyrko-Gamera, UKR, 2:25:30, 8. Ana Dulce Felix, POR, 2:26:46, 9. Tiki Gelana,ETH, 2:26:58

2014 Virgin Money London Marathon, Men, 1. Wilson Kipsang, KEN, 2:04:29, 2. Stanley Biwott, KEN, 2:04:55, 3. Kebede Tsegaye, ETH, 2:06:30 4. Ayela Abshero, ETH, 2:06:31, 5. Tsegaye Mekonnen, ETH, 2:08:06, 6. Geoffrey Mutai, KEN, 2:08:18, 7. Emmanuel Mutai, KEN, 2:08:19, 8. Mo Farah, GBR, 2:08:21, 9. Feyisa Lelisa, ETH, 2:08:26, #londonmarathon 

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