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A shot of Tower Bridge during the 2023 TCS London Marathon




Records tumble on a Marathon Day 'like no other'

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.

Fittingly, two of London’s greatest races had been started by some of the marathon’s greatest runners, with Kipchoge himself setting the men and mass underway at 10:00 after former champions Ingrid Kristiansen and Catherine McKiernan had started the women’s.

It was another former winner, Gordon Perry, who started the wheelchair races 40 years after he became London’s first wheelchair champion. Swiss superstar Marcel Hug marked that anniversary in suitable fashion by chalking up his third successive men’s victory and breaking his own course record.

Hug dominated the contest to win in 1:23:44, taking top prize in the world’s richest ever wheelchair race.

Madison de Rozario won the women’s event for the second time, the Australian Paralympic champion winning a four-way battle that went all the way to the line.

“I believe they were the best collection of races in the history of the marathon,” said Brasher. “And they were even more amazing given the conditions.

“There was a course record from Marcel and a stunning sprint from Madison, then that women’s race, which had me beaming from cheek to cheek. And then Kelvin running that quick on a course that’s not meant to be fast.

“Put those four together on a day when record numbers were running and it all just made it a special day. It feels like a London Marathon like no other.”

It was also a special day for Great Britain's Sir Mo Farah, as he said an emotional farewell to the London Marathon. Afterwards he paid tribute to the amazing crowds for their support. 

“If it wasn't for the crowds, I would have dropped out,” said Farah. “It was really emotional for me, but the crowds were incredible as always and I have some fantastic memories from London.”

Among the many who fought their way through the puddle-strewn streets for good causes were a host of celebrities and 71 Guinness World Records chasers.

Those included BBC presenter Adele Roberts who finished in 3:30:22. “I never imagined I would be a London Marathon finisher,” she said. “I am so proud of my medal.”

Among the many other proud finishers were Josh O’Connor, who played Prince Charles in Netflix series The Crown, and singer Marcus Mumford, running for the Grenfell Foundation.

Hundreds completed the course for this year’s official charity too, with Great Ormond Street Hospital set to raise thousands from an event striving to become more inclusive and sustainable every year.

Those efforts were most obvious at Rainbow Row, a 250m stretch of the course that champions the LGBTQIA+ community, and in the event’s numerous environmental initiatives, such as finisher T-shirts made of recycled material, reusable mile markers, and finisher bags made from sugar cane.

Next year’s event is on Sunday 21 April 2024. The ballot for entries opened on Saturday (22 April) and will close at 21:00 Friday 28 April.