In what was the wettest London Marathon in 39 years, Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei won the women’s race crossing the line in 2:18:58. Defending champion Kosgei proved the weather could not stop her from claiming the coveted title in what was a close race between her and fellow country mate and world champion Ruth Chepngetich.
Kosgei defeated Paula Radcliffe’s unbeaten record last year and the world sure had their eyes set on her during this race. Although there was no line-up of crowds to cheer them on during the race due to coronavirus restrictions, Kosgei could not let victory slip her by regardless of the harsh weather conditions.
She told the Telegraph, “I’ve never run a marathon with it raining from start to finish before,” she said. “As we were going, parts of my legs were freezing so it was difficult to move. We tried our best. It was hard marathon conditions.”
No one could tell the world record holder had frozen legs when at the 20-mile marker she took to her heels leaving Chepngetich behind. Kosgei looked extremely comfortable running 19.6 laps with top ease around St James Park in her “super Nike shoes.”
Although the second-place spot looked promising for Chepngetich, her energy somehow depleted giving way for American Sarah Hall to finish in second at 2:22.01. Chepngetich then came in third with 2:22:05 missing the second spot by 3.03.
The last time a non-African stood on the podium at the London Marathon was when Japan’s Yukiko Akaba took the third spot in 2013.
“I just went into hunting mode,” said Hall. “It really made that last lap fly by. I have a lot of respect for these women – they are the best in the world – so it’s a really special moment for me.”
In the last seven kilometers of the race in the British capital, Kosgei wore a wide smile with the surety of bagging her second London Marathon win with just a little glide to the end of race banner with a gentle thud.
Kenyan party leader Raila Odinga was among the first to send in his congratulatory message on Twitter to the two-time marathon winner.
“What an outstanding run, congratulations Brigid Kosgei on successfully defending your title and winning the #LondonMarathon. You have lived up to the strong Kenyan tradition in distance running. Keep going and keep inspiring. Hongera!”
Meanwhile, in the men’s race, Ethiopian Shura Kitata caused a major upset beating Eliud Kipchoge.
“I am very happy to win this race, for my country, for my group, for my teammates,” Kitata said.
This is his first London Marathon win finishing in 2:05:41 and Kipchoge’s first defeat in seven years finishing in the eighth position with the second slowest time of his career, 2:06:49.