Marathon world record holder Wilson Kipsang won his second London Marathon, while Mo Farah finished eighth in his 26.2-mile debut on Sunday.
The Kenyan Kipsang, 32, prevailed by 26 seconds in 2:04:29, a course record and a record fifth marathon under 2:05 for one man.
Kipsang had broken the world record over 26.2 miles on Sept. 29 at the Berlin Marathon, clocking 2:03:23 to shave 15 seconds off Patrick Makau‘s previous mark. He also won the 2012 London Marathon and bronze at the 2012 Olympics.
Farah, the 2012 Olympic 5000m and 10,000m champion, was eighth in 2:08:21. He missed the European record (2:06:36) and the British record (2:07:13) but broke the English record of 2:08.33.
“It was pretty tough,” Farah said on the BBC, a few minutes after grimacing behind sunglasses and a British kit in the final meters. “Quite disappointed today. … You learn. Life goes on.”
The event was billed as perhaps the greatest field in marathon history, including the world record holder, the fastest man ever on a non-certified course, the reigning Olympic champion and the London course record holder.
Farah was 27 seconds behind after the first 5km as the leaders went out in sub-world record pace behind pacemaker Haile Gebrselassie, the two-time Olympic 10,000m champion and former marathon world record holder.
Farah said he will race another marathon but wouldn’t rule out going back to the track for the 2016 Olympics.
“I’m not going to finish it like this,” Farah said of marathon running. “I will be back.”
Farah is, though, scheduled to return to the track for at least one meet this summer.
Kenyan Edna Kiplagat won the women’s race, outsprinting countrywoman Florence Kiplagat (no relation) to win by three seconds in 2:20.21. Edna Kiplagat, 34, won the 2011 and 2013 World Championships and was 20th at the London Olympics.
Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba, a six-time Olympic medalist on the track in the 5000m and 10,000m, finished third in her first marathon in 2:20:35, the third fastest women’s debut in history.
American Tatyana McFadden won the women’s wheelchair race for the second straight year. She won an unprecedented marathon Grand Slam in 2013 — sweeping Boston, London, Chicago and New York — in addition to becoming the first person to win six gold medals at a single International Paralympic Committee World Track and Field Championships. McFadden, a 10-time Summer Paralympic medalist, won her first Winter Paralympic medal in cross-country skiing in Sochi in February.