After perfect weather conditions in Boston, the Virgin London Marathon had super weather conditions. Starting out in a fast pace, clocking 28:56 for 10k, the men’s race was thrilling to the end. A group of five runners, including Emmanuel Mutai, Stanley Biwott (both Kenya), Ayele Abshero, Yared Asmerom and Feyisa Lilesa (all Ethiopia) tried to make their move at 15k.. Promising Tsegaye Kebede, who was in the lead pack until close to 20k, fell back and was 19 seconds behind at 30k.It already looked like the Bank of America Chicago 2012 winner was out of the rankings, especially when at 35k he was 49 seconds behind leading Biwott and E. Mutai. But then the small men got it all together and started a stunning catch-up race. While Stanley Biwott was falling apart and slowing down with every step, London course record holder (2011/2:04:40) E. Mutai picked up speed and took the lead. It looked good for him, but suddenly Kebede was flying past him at 41k.. Tsegaye Kebede won finally in 2:06:04. Feyisa Lilesa (ETH) got 4th in 2:07:42 and Wilson Kipsang (KEN) 5th in 2:07:43.
The women’s race was no less exciting. After Rita Jeptoo won in Boston earlier this week, it was now Priscah Jeptoo who claimed the victory at the Virgin London Marathon in 2:20:15. This was just one second outside her personal best and after a third place in London in 2012 this was her first win at a World Marathon Majors race for the first time. Olympic Champion Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia looked good until 25k, but at a feeding station she was knocked to the ground by a wheelchair athlete. She kept going, although bruised, and finished 16th. Second was New York winner (2010) and World Champion (2011) Edna Kiplagat, who finished second in 2:21:32. Third place went to Japan’s Yukiko Akaba in 2:24:43, placing for the first time Top-3 in a World Marathon Majors race. The Ethiopians Atsede Baysa and Meselech Melkamu clocked 2:25:14 and 2:25:46, finishing 4th and 5th.
Tsegaye’s victory in London kept him in the lead of the World Marathon Majors with a margin of 24 points over Wilson Kipsang, who claimed just one point from his fifth place. Wesley Korir is now third with 27 points. Three men are tied for the fourth place with 25 points: Boston 2013 winner Lelisa Desisa (ETH), London Olympic Champion Stephen Kiprotich (UGA), and Berlin winner Geoffrey Mutai (KEN).
Jeptoo’s victory raised her to the top of the women’s 2012–2013 World Marathon Majors leaderboard with 50 points—a ten-point advantage over Rita Jeptoo. Last year’s Boston winner Sharon Cherop is now third with 35 points and three women are tied for fourth with 30 points: Last year’s London winner Kenya’s Mary Keitany, who is pregnant, and two-time runner up in London Edna Kiplagat as well as Ethiopias Chicago 2012 winner Atsede Baysa.
2012–2013 WMM Series Leaderboards
Top 10 Men
1. Tsegaye Kebede (ETH) 60 pts. (competed in London)
2. Wilson Kipsang (KEN) 36 pts. (competed in London)
3. Wesley Korir (KEN) 27 pts. (competed in Boston)
4. Stephen Kiprotich (UGA) 25 pts. (competed in London)
4 Geoffrey Mutai (KEN) 25 pts. (competed in London)
7 Feyisa Lilesa (ETH) 20 pts. (competed in London)
8 Dennis Kimetto (KEN) 15 pts. (competed in Tokyo)
8 Abel Kirui (KEN) 15 pts. (competed in London)
8 Martin Lel (KEN) 15 pts. (competed in London)
8 Levy Matebo (KEN) 15 pts. (competed in Boston)
8 Emmanuel Mutai (KEN) 15 pts. (competed in London)
Top 10 Women
1 Priscah Jeptoo (KEN) 50 pts. (competed in London)
2 Rita Jeptoo (KEN) 40 pts. (competed in Boston)
3 Sharon Cherop (KEN) 35 pts. (competed in Boston)
4 Atsede Baysa (ETH) 30 pts. (competed in London)
4 Mary Keitany (KEN) 30 pts. (inactive)
4 Edna Kiplagat (KEN) 30 pts. (competed in London)
7 Tiki Gelana (ETH) 25 pts. (competed in London)
7 Aberu Kebede (ETH) 25 pts. (competed in Tokyo)