The men’s race
Hutton hangs in
The 10th London Marathon saw the first British men’s winner since 1985 when 35 year old Allister Hutton left a quality field far behind after dispensing with the services of pacemaker Bill Reifsnyder of the USA at 14 miles. In poor weather, reminiscent of 1986, Hutton maintained his form to the line, winning in 2:10:10. It was his first marathon win, but he was in such good shape that he even asked the early pacemaker Nick Rose to speed things up after only 10km.
The real race was among the chasing pack but Italian Salvatore Bettiol and Spaniard Juan Romera proved stronger than the rest to finish 2nd and 3rd. Romera set a new Spanish record with 2:10:48. Pre-race favourite Belayneh Densimo, the world record holder from Ethiopia, dropped out after 14 miles.
The women’s race
Panfil proves her point
Olympic champion Rosa Mota made a brief appearance this year, running only the first half of the course for charity, but it was Poland’s Wanda Panfil, 2nd in 1989, who won a scintillating women’s race. She cruised to victory in a personal best 2:26:31 while Americans Francie Larrieu-Smith and Lisa Weidenbach fought a cat and mouse race behind her. The first 5 women all finished in under 2:30:00.
The wheelchair race
Course records despite the rain
Inclement weather failed to dampen spirits but it certainly suited the Scandinavians as Sweden’s Hakam Ericsson won the men’s race and Connie Hansen of Denmark the women’s, both setting course records.
Twice London Marathon winner Joyce Smith set more than 60 competitors on their way as the rain made wheel-grip difficult. The 21 year old Ericsson reached Parliament Square with German Wolfgang Peterson and the two were barely separated on the line. The Swede won in 1:57:12 by just 1 second as both smashed the course record by some 2 minutes.
Chris Hallam, the 1985 and 1987 winner, was the first Briton home in 6th place in 2:10:05, after battling with Hansen who easily triumphed in the women’s race in 2:10:25. The 29 year old occupational therapist and multi-medallist from the Seoul Paralympic Games smashed the old course record by a mammoth 31 minutes.