Kiptum and Hassan Take Dramatic Wins While Scott is Best For SA
The 2023 London Marathon featured a thrilling women’s finish and saw the men’s winner run the second-fastest marathon ever. Around 48,000 runners were expected to cross the line on a damp, overcast day. Here are the highlights from the British capital.
Hassan Wins Marathon Debut in Epic Comeback
Sifan Hassan ran 2:18:33 to win the London Marathon in a sprint finish, beating one of the strongest women’s fields in marathon history. Alemu Megertu, of Ethiopia, earned runner-up honours while the reigning Olympic marathon champion, Peres Jepchirchir, finished third.
This was Hassan’s debut at the marathon distance, after a highly successful career on the track, but her victory was not without obstacles. The Dutch athlete yo-yoed off the lead pack for much of the early race, even stopping twice to stretch her quad. It looked like she was on the verge of dropping out, but after restarting, she began to furiously chase down the leaders. Aided by a tactical race up front, Hassan rejoined the group at 40K and used her signature kick to take down the field on the final straight.
Susanna Sullivan earned top American honors, running 2:24:27 for a 47-second PB to nab ninth place. The 32-year-old works as a teacher in the Washington, DC area.
One of the pre-race favourites — marathon world record holder Brigid Kosgei — started the race but dropped out before the first mile. Kosgei mentioned she was having some hamstring issues before the race, and it was clear that she wasn’t 100 percent.
Kiptum Gives the World Record a Scare
Kelvin Kiptum used a ferocious surge just after 30K to break the race open to win in a course record 2:01:25. He’s now the second-fastest marathoner ever, behind Eliud Kipchoge’s world record of 2:01:09. Geoffrey Kamworor was second almost three minutes back in 2:04:23, while Tamirat Tola crossed the line in third in 2:04:59.
Kiptum will go home with $230,000 for winning the race and dipping under the course record and 2:03 barrier, and his second half marathon split — 59:45 — is the fastest second half of a marathon ever. The 23-year-old Kenyan passes Kenenisa Bekele on the all-time list — who started today’s race but dropped out after 25K.
Frank Lara, who trains with the Roots Running Project, was the top American, finishing in 11th place in 2:13:29. And four-time Olympic gold medal winner Mo Farah was two spots ahead, coming in at 2:10:28.
Dom Scott Runs Sub 2:30 in First Marathon
South Africa’s best result was by American-based SA 10 000m champion Dom Scott who ran 2 hours 29 minutes 19 seconds to finish 12th overall in the women’s elite race. It was Scott’s first attempt at the marathon distance the fastest debut marathon by a South African.
“I knew I’d learn a lot in my first go at 26.2 miles,” Scott said on her Instagram page. “Processing the bad, but focusing on the good.”
Scott ran through halfway in a fast 1:12.15 but slowed in the second half.
Hug Dominates — And a Close Women’s Wheelchair Finish
Marcel Hug took the men’s wheelchair title in a time of 1:23:44, winning by five minutes. This is his second major win within the last week after he won the Boston Marathon on Monday. The “Swiss Silver Bullet” has now won three London Marathons in a row.
Madison de Rozario, of Australia, won a thrilling women’s race, edging out Manuela Schär at the line. Catherine Debrunner and Boston winner Susannah Scaroni all finished within six seconds of the winner.