Four champions reflect on their success at the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon
They may be from different parts of the world, and their victories may have come in contrasting styles, but there’s one thing all four 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon elite champions agreed on as they reflected on Sunday’s record-breaking Marathon Day – they could not have done it without the spectators.
For women’s elite winner Joyciline Jepkosgei it was the “cheerers” lined along the entire London Marathon route from Greenwich to The Mall who provided the crucial spur as she surged clear of the most talented women’s marathon field ever assembled and strode on to secure what she described this morning as the achievement of a lifetime.
Men’s winner Sisay Lemma also credited the London public for his breakthrough marathon victory, describing the crowds as “extraordinary” on “a special day” for distance running following the restrictions of last year’s spectator-less, elite-only event around St James’s Park.
It was, indeed, special, not least for the 35,871 mass event finishers, delighted to be back together on the traditional route. Along with 22,342 virtual marathon completers around the world, they made the 41st edition of this event the world’s biggest-ever marathon.
“Yesterday was a triumph of positivity, togetherness and community spirit,” said Event Director Hugh Brasher. “The emotion felt by the runners and spectators is what we’ve all so missed over the last 20 months.
“As well as our amazing elite runners, more than 35,000 people from 82 different countries covered the 26.2 miles from Greenwich to The Mall, joined by more than 22,000 people from 100 countries in the virtual event, showing the indomitable spirit of the London Marathon and the force for good it has become, for charities, for people’s physical health, and above all their mental health.”