Two course records and a pair of spectacular races crown the biggest ever London Marathon
More than 48,000 people will finish the TCS London Marathon today, defying wet conditions to make the 2023 edition the biggest ever in the event’s history.
Together with two men’s course records and a pair of spectacular women’s races, the huge numbers made it “a marathon like no other”, according to Event Director Hugh Brasher.
Despite the bouts of rain, some 43,965 runners had crossed the Finish Line in The Mall by 17:00 after a record 49,272 had left the Start Line in Greenwich this morning, following 49,675 registrations at the TCS London Marathon Running Show over the last four days.
With the Finish Line on The Mall open until 19:30, the 43rd London Marathon is already by far the largest since the event started 1981, eclipsing the pre-lockdown 2019 edition when 42,549 finished the race, and is set to pass the 48,000 mark by close of play.
Sunday’s bobbing masses completed a record-breaking weekend after 8,278 young runners had finished the biggest ever Mini London Marathon on Saturday.
Among those who passed beneath the gantry today was 23-year-old Kelvin Kiptum, who powered away from a field loaded with champions, in just his second ever marathon, to smash Eliud Kipchoge’s four-year-old course record and take the men’s title in 2:01:25.
It is not only the second fastest of all time over 26.2 miles, just 16 seconds outside Kipchoge’s world record, but the first sub-2:02 time on the London course.
While the men’s race went to Kenya, the women’s belonged to the Netherlands as double Olympic track champion Sifan Hassan sprinted to victory in her first marathon after falling behind in the middle of the race with a hip injury that appeared to have scuppered her chances.
At one stage Hassan was about 20 seconds adrift of the leaders, and was almost hit by a motorbike when she darted across the road to pick up a drink. But the multi-talented track champion clawed her way back into contention before sprinting clear to win in 2:18:33, beating a field of marathon veterans described as the best ever.