On a wonderful April day, 43,000 marathoners took to the streets of London . In this feature, Justin Lagat opines about the Kenyan wins in London!
If there is one marathon that Eliud Kipchoge showcased his great prowess and class in marathon running, then it must be today’s London Marathon. After his world record in Berlin, when a journalist had asked him what his next aim was, he had replied that he needed to run a 2:02 marathon having already run 2:00, 2:01, 2:03, 2:04 and 2:05. It sounded like a joke at that time, but today he just ran 2:02:38 to win a fourth London Marathon title.
Many lessons were taken away by any keen observer in the way he ran it relaxed and calmly. It would seem that remaining patient in a marathon race does not necessarily mean staying behind the leading pack and waiting for the last stages to move to the front. Kipchoge went after his target time and remained patient at the front of the pack and just let the others drop back, one at a time. As usual, he had stayed just behind the pacesetters from the start of the race up to the 30km point when the last pacemaker, Gideon Kipketer, stepped out of the race before taking control.
The women’s race started with Sinead Diver of Australia slowly opening a gap on the rest. It was as though she was trying to enact what just happened in Boston a couple of weeks ago when Worknesh Degefa had broken away in a solo run to win it before the rest could realize what was going on.
However, for Diver, the gap was first closed at 5km with the pack crossing it in 16:56. At around the 15km point again, Diver made a second surge going with the pacemaker. One would think she had just let the gap close in order to count the number of her chasers going after her.