Runners defied pouring rain on Sunday to take part in the 40th London Marathon – with only the elite athletes competing in a traditional race in the capital.
Some 45,000 people are running or walking along their own 26.2-mile route around the UK, after the mass event originally planned for April 26 was postponed due to coronavirus.
In the elite women’s event in London, world record-holder Brigid Kosgei defended her title around a sodden St James’s Park.
The 26-year-old comfortably won her duel with fellow Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich, the world champion, who was eventually pipped for second by America’s Sarah Hall.
In the men’s race, Eliud Kipchoge’s reign as the king of the London Marathon came to a shock end as Shura Kitata emerged from the rain and the gloom to become the new champion.
In a stunning upset, Kipchoge, who had won all of his previous four London Marathons and had not lost over the distance in seven years, ended up finishing in eighth place.
Instead the title was up for grabs and it was Ethiopian Kitata who snatched it in two hours, five minutes and 41 seconds, pipping Kenya’s Vincent Kipchumba on the line after a thrilling sprint finish.
In the men’s wheelchair race, Great Britain’s David Weir missed out on a ninth victory, finishing second behind Canada’s Brent Lakatos.