Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge stunned the last two world-record holders to capture the London Marathon, 12 years after he defeated two legends in a World Championships 5000m.
Kipchoge, 30, clocked 2:04:42, pulling away from 2014 London winner and countryman Wilson Kipsang by five seconds. World-record holder Dennis Kimetto placed third in 2:05:50 to complete a Kenyan sweep.
“This was a real major championship,” Kipchoge said on the BBC. “Like an Olympic Games.”
Kipchoge also won the Chicago Marathon on Oct. 12 and Olympic silver and bronze medals in the 5000m in 2008 and 2004, respectively.
At Athens 2004, Kipchoge was 19 years old when he finished behind legends Moroccan Hicham El Guerrouj and Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele in the Olympic 5000m. A year earlier, he beat both of them at the World Championships in Paris.
Kipsang’s streak of three straight major marathon victories was snapped, a run that began with his 2013 Berlin Marathon win in a then-world record 2:03:23.
Kimetto, too, failed, in his first marathon after breaking Kipsang’s world record to prevail in Berlin in 2:02:57 on Sept. 28.
Ethiopian Tigist Tufa shockingly won the women’s race, her only previous major marathon being an eighth place in New York in 2013. She clocked 2:23:22.
Kenyan pre-race favorite Mary Keitany was runner-up, 18 seconds behind. Keitany, a mother of two, won the 2014 New York City Marathon and the 2011 and 2012 London Marathons.
Paula Radcliffe, the British world-record holder in her marathon farewell, was interviewed by the BBC’s Denise Lewis while she ran and eventually finished in 2:36:55.
“Especially down the last mile there, I just thought, I didn’t care about the time the whole way round, I was so tired, I just wanted to try and thank as many people as possible,” Radcliffe, 41, emotionally said on the BBC afterward, wearing a finisher’s medal after she hugged her two children. “I keep saying that my ears were ringing all the times I’ve run [the London Marathon], but that was even louder.”
The next World Marathon Major will take place at the World Track and Field Championships in Beijing in August.