The elite women’s race at the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon looked set to be a battle between marathon world-record holder Brigid Kosgei and her Kenya compatriot, and world champion, Ruth Chepngetich.

At 30K, Kosgei broke away for an emphatic win. Behind her, the USA’s Sara Hall put in an amazing performance in tough conditions to finish runner-up, beating Chepngetich by just four seconds after a thrilling sprint finish to the world-famous Finish Line on The Mall in central London.

Winner: Brigid Kosgei (KEN), 2:18:58

On the weather:

“I just tried my best. The weather affected us today – there was some wind and rain all the way, which made our muscles colder. No one could warm up so it was difficult to even finish.

On her break at 30K:

“I didn’t have anything planned, but I felt good. I felt my body wanted to move, but my legs could not move, so I tried my best.”

On a possible world record on the new course:

“Yes, it’s possible but because of the conditions, we couldn't run well. If there was no rain, and the weather was good it would be good to try again on this course.”

Second place: Sara Hall (USA), 2:22:01

On her sprint finish:

“Oh, you know. I was fighting the whole way, just catching people. Seeing the world champion there in the last lap, that definitely motivated me to give it my all, and I’m still kind of in shock to be honest.”

On the tough conditions:

“They were tough for sure, especially without the crowds, and I was alone for quite a bit of the race, so that was a really challenging way to run. But when I started to feel sorry for myself, I would just say how blessed I was to have a race during this time of Covid-19. I’m so grateful to the London Marathon for putting on this race.”

On being the first American on the London Marathon podium in 14 years:

“Wow, I didn’t know that! Oh man, I’m still in shock, you know Deena [Kastor] was my teammate when she set the American record here and ran the race and so I feel so honoured to be enjoying my career the most I ever have aged 37. Hopefully there’s more to come.”

On how she felt overtaking the world champion Ruth Chepngetich:

‘It was a very surreal moment, my husband was going nuts. I’m so thankful he was able to be here – he was telling me how far back I was on the last couple of laps from third and then second. I just felt amazing out there. This was such a redemptive moment, I didn’t make our Olympic marathon team and it was a massive disappointment, but God’s always redeemed things in my career and this was just the moment of redemption for me. I feel so grateful.”

First British woman: Natasha Cockram, 2:33:19

On being on the Start Line:

“Being at the Start Line was just a surreal experience. I am just really thankful for the team behind me, who have worked tirelessly in the last two or three weeks to get me here today.”

On how she felt in the last few laps:

“I didn’t give up, I kept going, just pushed through. My legs were a bit sore by the end, the last lap I couldn’t really feel much but just kept pushing.”

On the confidence she’s gained from her performance today:

“I think it’s given me a lot of confidence, just because, like I said last year, I couldn’t even run, wasn’t even sure if I would make the Start Line. I haven’t worked out in a couple of weeks either, just been on the cross trainer. It gives me a lot of confidence going forwards so long as the next build-up goes a bit smoother than this one.”

Second British woman: Naomi Mitchell, 2:33:23

On the difficult conditions:

“I actually really enjoyed the laps. I train on laps so for me that was what kept me going mentally, three laps at a time, working through. But the conditions were tough. It got really cold towards the end.”

On overtaking Natasha Cockram in the closing stages

“With half-five to go, I was feeling strong but my coach said to me, ‘just keep it comfortable, don’t try anything crazy’, and I knew Natasha would have it in her at the end having seen her race before, so I knew it wasn’t a definite. I thought I would at least be able to hold on to finish by her.”

On gaining a PB today:

“I really hope I can get another one like this in, with some laps that would be brilliant. Take some more time off. I’m just going to see if I can get in really and see what I can do.”

Third British woman: Tracy Barlow, 2:34:42

On the conditions:

“The London Marathon is normally done in much warmer conditions, so these are my worst idea, my worst nightmare for conditions, but I’m glad I stuck it out. I had a few rough laps but then it started to pick up a bit, I picked up a few athletes as well.”

What was it like doing the looped course?

“I much prefer the traditional marathon course. The laps are good, but you also get rough patches where you’re solo, whereas if you’re on the traditional course and have ups and downs you have the crowd to keep you going.”

On Lily Partridge and Steph Twell dropping out early on:

“I was aware that Lily dropped out as I saw her just in front of me and I heard on the tannoy that Steph had dropped out.”

On the confidence the race has given her for the spring marathon season:

‘It gives me a lot of confidence actually. Being able to run in these conditions, and on a lapped course, knowing that probably in the spring it will be something similar, gives me confidence.”