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Joyciline Jepkosgei (KEN)




2021 race round-up

Jepkosgei, the reigning TCS New York City Marathon champion, put in a decisive surge at 35K to distance herself from the leading pack of five and was followed over the Finish Line by two Ethiopians, who also put in personal-best performances: Degitu Azimeraw in 2:17:58 and Ashete Bekere in 2:18:18.

Kosgei, who said before the race that she was still feeling the effects of running for silver in the Tokyo Olympics just eight weeks ago, was fourth in 2:18:14.

Charlotte Purdue was first British woman across the line in 10th place, looking strong throughout the race as she set a massive personal best of 2:23:26, taking more than two minutes off her previous best time.

In the men’s race, the defending champion Shura Kitata fell off the pace before the 10K mark, leaving the leading men to push on to the halfway point in 61:25, inside 2:03 pace and still on to challenge Kipchoge’s 2019 course record of 2:02:37.

But the pace slipped off course-record time in the second half, inviting a break in the closing kilometres, an opportunity seized by Ethiopia’s Sisay Lemma, who surged ahead to win the men’s race in 2:04:01, in the third-fastest time in the world this year, after his third place in 2020.

Kenya’s Vincent Kipchuma finished 27 seconds behind in 2:04:28, taking the runner-up slot again after placing second in the 2020 event. He was followed across the Finish Line by Mosinet Geremew of Ethiopia in 2:04:41.

The fastest British man was Philip Sesemann, who missed out on the 2:11:30 World Championships qualifying time, but set a time of 2:12:53 to take seventh place, edging out Joshua Griffiths, who finished eighth in 2:13:39.

Ahead of the elites, the Virgin Money Giving Mini London Marathon participants were first under the famous Finish Line on The Mall. The event has launched the careers of many top athletes, including Mo Farah, David Weir and Alex Yee, the Tokyo Olympic gold medallist who set the runners on their way this morning as the official race starter.

With up to 40,000 people taking on the virtual Virgin Money London Marathon wherever they are in the world, and more than 36,000 running on the streets of the capital, this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon looks set to be the biggest marathon ever held as We Run Together again.