Trio of greats make it a magnificent London Marathon14:53:03 22-04-2018
What a glorious day it's been here in London, with a 38th edition of the Virgin Money London Marathon to truly savour. It seems these days that you practically have to be an all-time great athlete or some sort of superman/woman to prevail in this great rite of Spring. So it was that the two elite races went to Kenyan legends, Eliud Kipchoge, with a record-equalling third crown, and Vivian Cheruiyot, who looks as if she's going to become just as majestic on the roads as she was on the track, while David Weir, Britain's own great charioteer of fire, landed an incredible record eighth wheelchair race title. Then there was also a monumental effort in the women's wheelchair race from Australian Madison de Rozario to add that crown to her Commonwealth gold by pipping the mighty Tatyana McFadden. Last but not least, we won't forget Mo Farah's "do or die" effort in finishing third in a new British record time as he felt he had finally joined the marathon club. It'll be hard for the 2019 edition to top this but we'll look forward to seeing the world's greatest try. Meanwhile, the massed ranks of runners are still out on the course going through the experience of a lifetime on this beautiful day of sport. Thanks for your company.
"No limits," says Kipchoge, the marathon master14:37:07 22-04-2018
Eliud Kipchoge has just been in to the main press centre to offer an ominous message to his rivals: "My message is 'no human is limited.' I'm aspiring to run 2:03," said the reigning Olympic champion, as he explained how successfully defending his title in Tokyo was "at the front of my mind." He reckoned that he had enjoyed his "fight" over the final kilometres with Kitata. "I tried to shake him out after 35km but it was hard. I enjoyed this marathon, I'm happy to win for the third time. All the elite athletes came here well prepared - everybody wants to be number one." Maybe, but for the moment there remains no question who owns that accolade.
Cheruiyot's "slowly, slowly" approach wins the day14:05:26 22-04-2018
The great Vivian Cheruiyot explained that by going "slowly, slowly" in the first half of the race while Mary Keitany and Tirunesh Dibaba blasted off like hares, she was able to pull off a wonderful win which only increases her reputation as one of the finest runners in history. "I didn’t make the podium last year because it was my debut and when you are debuting something you should not run as quickly.
"Today, the two ladies (Keitany and Dibaba) were trying for a world record and they made the mistake I made last year. I was quick to start with them last year and then I was nowhere. So I decided to stay behind this time. I didn’t go with the faster group because the faster group was quicker than I was at the start. Then I came slowly, slowly. I didn’t want to race against anybody, I wanted to race alone. So I raced like that. I felt comfortable throughout and when I caught Tirunesh and then I saw Mary, then I thought I'm going to be London Marathon champion!'"
Her winning time took more than five minutes off her marathon best and now she looks a real threat to become a world record holder at the distance. "Fly high, that is my aim,” she said. "I cannot say about the world record now because it’s still coming slowly by slowly, but when the time comes (to attack Paula Radcliffe's record) it’s going to be fairly difficult."
Kipchoge 'the artist' paints third London masterpiece13:48:14 22-04-2018
Eliud Kipchoge reckoned his magnificent performances on the marathon roads were about art as much as professionalism as he celebrated what he felt was the greatest feat of hs storied career. "I can say I enjoyed the race. I enjoyed it very much. I still enjoy the win, and I’m happy to be able to win for the third time in London,” he said.
Asked what kept him winning - it's now nearly five years since he last tasted defeat in the marathon - he explained: "First is the level of sport, second is art form and professionalism. That’s what leads me to win the races.”
The world record had eluded him but asked when he was going to next hunt the landmark down, he said: "Where I come from in Kenya, we say ‘just unwrap it.’ So after London now I'll plan where to go."
De Rozario's big surprise for herself13:21:36 22-04-2018
Madison de Rozario was left surprised by her magnificent wheelchair triumph in a sprint finish with the four-time winner Tatyana McFadden. "Yes, definitely surprising because the field was so strong. There were five of us and they were all great athletes. Coming past Buckingham Palace, I thought I had a chance but Tatyana has an amazing sprint finish. I'm really happy with this."
When it was suggested to her that her performance had been almost 'superhuman' after such a full programme at her triumphant Commonwealth Games, she smiled: "I can’t really complain. People (including McFadden) who competed in Boston had terrible conditions to cope with. I think we (the athletes who had flown in from Australia) came in in a pretty good position comparatively."
Official men's elite result12:55:33 22-04-2018
The official result of the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon men's elite race:
1 Eliud Kipchoge (Ken) 2:04:17
2 Tola Shura Kitata (Eth) 2:04:49
3 Mo Farah (GB) 2:06:21
4 Abel Kirui (Ken) 2:07:07
Partridge is top British woman finisher12:51:36 22-04-2018
Lily Partridge, the Aldershot, Farnham and District runner, was the top British woman finisher, coming home eighth in 2:29.24. Thames Valley Harrier Tracy Barlow was the next UK finisher, ninth in 2:32:09. Both are now bound for the European Championships in Berlin.
Delighted but weary Mo says it was "do or die"12:43:58 22-04-2018
Mo Farah felt shattered but exhilarated after finishing third in only his second full marathon in a new British record time of 2 hours 6 minutes 21 seconds, which knocked 52 seconds off Steve Jones's record of 2:07:13 that had stood since 1985.
"I'm knackered," he just about managed to laugh afterwards in an interview with the BBC. "These guys went for it, for the world record. It was do or die and I had to hold on as long as I could." He explained that he had experienced problems at the drinks stations. "It was confusing, I was table four, I went to pick it up.
"The staff were helpful at the end but at the beginning they were trying to take a picture rather than giving me the drink. I was saying to the people on motorbikes to tell the staff to be a bit helpful instead of taking pictures. I wasn't wasting energy, I just needed a drink. I had to get it right.
"But I gave it 110%. Definitely a tick to getting the new GB record... It’s some payment for the fact that I haven’t seen my kids in 3 months."