By: Alex Ashlock
The Olympic Marathon will be contested on a loop course, with the start and finish on The Mall in London, the road that runs between Buckingham Palace and the Admiralty Arch. Sunday’s London’s Marathon was run on a point-to-point course that finished on The Mall. What a great scene, and there were two world class performances, with Kenyans winning the men’s and women’s races. Wilson Kipsang broke away and won his race in 2:04:44, about two minutes faster than the second-place finisher. Mary Keitany also ran away from her challengers, winning in 2:18:37, the fastest women’s marathon in the world this year. The men’s World record holder, Patrick Makau, struggled and dropped out early, while last year’s London winner, Emmanuel Mutai, who was recovering from typhoid fever, finished 7th. World champion, Abel Kirui, led at the mid-point, but fell back and finished 6th.
So now it’s up to Kenya’s athletic officials to pick their teams, and it will be a difficult decision because only three men and women can go. This week’s Boston winner Wesley Korir should be in the mix, but his slow time due to the extreme heat may hurt his chances.
In the wheelchair races, Britain’s David Weir and Shelly Woods were the winners, Weir for the 6th time. 9-time Boston winner Ernt Van Dyk of South Africa was 10th today after a 6th in Boston on Monday. American Shirley Riley, who won the Boston Marathon earlier this week, finished 4th in London. Not a bad week for Riley. 5-time Boston winner, Japan’s Wakako Tsuchida, took second Sunday after also finishing second in Boston.
This is one of the biggest marathons in the world. There were more than 35,000 starters today.