Justin Lagat sent this piece yesterday on the fabulous 2023 London Marathon. I like to post stories the very next day, and with all of the social media going on in both of these races, I think you will enjoy our coverage!
That Sifan Hassan totally kicked butt in the deepest women’s marathon field ever is stunning. The style with which this entertaining runner won, her wonderful interviews, and her absolute drive to dominate should not be forgotten.
Kevlin Kitum has now run two marathons in under 2:02. In this race, he almost took out the world record. What will he do next time?
Kelvin Kiptum and Sifan Hassan’s dominant performances at the 2023 London Marathon
If there were a theme that aptly describes today’s unique performances at the 2023 TCS London Marathon, it would be: It is not over until it is over.
Kelvin Kiptum and Sifan Hassan ran in two different versions to emerge victorious and surprise everyone with their unexpected course record and position, respectively.
At the halfway point in the men’s race, it looked as though the course record of 2:02:37 that was set in 2019 by Eliud Kipchoge was safe. The clock showed 61:40. Kiptum would run the next half in 59:45. After 30 km, he quickly turned what had appeared to be a build-up into a sprint finish among the top entrants into a solo chase for a course record.
He even seemed surprised by the result.
“My plan was to run maybe 2:03 or 2:02, but I was not thinking about the world record. I was just focused on running a good time. I’ll go back home, have a little rest and talk with my team. Maybe then we will think of the world record,” Kiptum said after running a new course record and the second fastest time in the history of 2:01:25 to win the race.
Geoffrey Kamworor finished second in a new PB of 2:04:23 ahead of the reigning world champion, Tamirat Tola, who finished third in 2:04:59.
(Edit note: Geoffrey Kamworor earned his huge PB in London. Glad to see that he is back to full form!)
The women’s race was the opposite, as the runners were on course for the course for women’s only world record in the early stages. The midway was crossed in 1:08:29, predicting a finish time of 2:16:50s.
Just like she does in her track races, Hassan had remained just behind the leading pack, quickly replacing runners that dropped out of the group. At around 20 km, she had a slight problem and lost contact with the leaders. She stopped two times momentarily to stretch her left leg and kept pressing the top of her thigh.
A group of four, Peres Jepchirchir, Alemu Megertu, Sheila Chepkurui, and Yalemzerf Yehualaw, appeared to be in contention for the win after 35K. But Hassan closed the gap again at around the 40 km mark. It was soon down to Jepchirchir, Megertu, and Hassan in the race’s closing stages as it appeared apparent that a sprint finish would decide the winner.
Hassan waited until the last 200m to the finish. Then, she used her track prowess and sprinted to win in 2:18:33, ahead of Megertu’s 2:18:37 and Jepchirchir’s 2:18:38.
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