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Brigid Kosgei wins the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon




Kosgei retains her crown as Kitata beats Kipchoge

Sarah Hall crosses the finish line at the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon

How The 40th Race happened

There were shocks aplenty in the wheelchair contests too, where the British-based Canadian Brent Lakatos beat eight-time winner David Weir and two-time London champion Marcel Hug in the men’s race, while Dutchwoman Nikita den Boer out-pushed Switzerland’s reigning champion Manuela Schär in the women’s. 

“The London Marathon is the biggest marathon there is, so to come here and win against Dave and Marcel, it’s amazing,” said Lakatos. 

Den Boer was amazed too, not least at becoming the first Dutch winner, male or female, of a London Marathon title. 
“I didn’t know I was the first one. I think it’s really, really special,” she said. “My coach said ‘Just go for it’, and I was going for it. Manuela was speeding down, and I had to go on my own. I had to go faster.”

The 40th Race Highlights

  • Sarah Hall crosses the finish line at the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon
  • Brent Lakatos (CAN) wins the Men’s Elite Wheelchair Race on The Mall
  • Mosinet Geremew (ETH) takes a drink
  • Brigid Kosgei (KEN) runs along The mall during the Elite Women's Race
  • David Weir (GBR) during the Elite Wheelchair Race
  • Shura Kitata (ETH) crosses the finish line to win the Elite Men's Race
  • Mosinet Geremew (ETH) and Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) are tucked in behind the pace runners
  • Peter Herzog (AUT) lies on The Mall after finishing the Elite Men's Race
  • Sarah Hall crosses the finish line at the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon

Sara Hall (USA) overtakes Ruth Chepngetich (KEN) in the final stages to place second in the Elite Women's Race.

Meanwhile, 45,000 other marathon runners have been going for it on their own today, each of them targeting a socially distanced 26.2-mile challenge as they aim to raise much-needed funds for their chosen charities. 

Runners from 109 countries entered the virtual marathon and each of them had almost 24 hours to complete a 26.2-mile course of their own choosing – they started from 00:00:00 BST this morning and need to finish by 23:59:59 BST tonight, Sunday 4 October. 

As of 18:00 more than 25,000 had completed their own unique London Marathons, including James Whaley, the Grimsby Town FC mascot, who ran 130 laps of the club’s home pitch at Blundell Park for the Make A Wish Foundation, which creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. 

“It was great to be part of such an amazing event with people taking on the same challenge across the country,” he said. “It was tough and particularly hard around mile 20, but I kept reminding myself of the kids who will benefit, which kept me going. 

“Now I’ve finished it feels great and I can’t wait to get to the London Marathon proper next year.” 

Anna Bassil also had a tough day, at one point wading through a flooded section of her route at mile 14.  

“The water was up to my knees for about a 300-yard stretch,” said the 40-year-old from St Albans, who was raising money for Save the Children dressed as a birthday cake and sporting bright pink hair. 

“My costume and trainers got really heavy, and knowing I had to go back through it again at mile 18 was tough. 

“But when people saw a big cake running past them, they couldn’t seem to help but smile and cheer me on, and that just filled me with happiness.  

“Now I am letting the world know I completed it and have been part of a historic moment. When I receive my medal I will definitely celebrate with a glass of bubbly.” 

Deborah James is also celebrating after completing her route around London’s Battersea Park. James hosts the You, Me and the Big C podcast and has been living with bowel cancer since being diagnosed in 2016. 

“While we didn’t have the crowds, we had friends and family who were able to join us along the way, for 5K or 10K stretches. We couldn’t have done that in a normal year,” she said.  

“Being able to see them along the way was amazing. Plus, we passed so many other people doing their own virtual races. That camaraderie with total strangers was very special.” 

Indeed, it was very special day all round.