Eliud Kipchoge won his eighth straight marathon (ninth if you count Nike’s sub-two attempt), but missed the world record at a steamy London Marathon by more than one minute on Sunday.
The Kenyan Olympic champion clocked 2:04:17, pulling away from Ethiopian Tola Kitata by 32 seconds. Mo Farah, the four-time Olympic track champ in his second marathon, finished third in 2:06:21.
Kipchoge and Kitata fell off Dennis Kimetto‘s world-record pace around the 20th mile. Kimetto ran 2:02:57 at the 2014 Berlin Marathon.
The temperature eclipsed 70 degrees Farenheit during the race, making it one of the hottest London Marathons ever. Perhaps considering that, Kipchoge said he ran “a beautiful race” for his third London title in four years.
“The conditions, I can’t complain, because all of us were running in the same arena,” he told media in London. “No regrets at all.”
Farah was satisfied, too, achieving his primary goal of breaking the 33-year-old British record held by Steve Jones.
“If you looked at the field before the start of that race, you would never have put me third place,” said Farah, who ran nearly two minutes faster than his marathon debut in London in 2014. “You would put ahead of me so many other guys.”
No world record in the women’s race, either. Kenyan Vivian Cheruiyot won in 2:18:31, passing pre-race favorite Mary Keitany in the 23rd mile. Cheruiyot won by 1 minute, 42 seconds over countrywoman Brigid Kosgei. Keitany slowed to fifth in 2:24:27.
Cheruiyot, a 34-year-old mom, made her marathon debut in London last year, finishing fourth. Before that, Cheruiyot earned four Olympic medals on the track, plus four world titles combined in the 5000m and 10,000m.
Paula Radcliffe‘s world record with male pacers — 2:15:25 from 2003 — was a target for Keitany. Last year, Keitany broke Radcliffe’s world record without male pacers by 41 seconds, winning her third London title in 2:17:01.
The other leading contender Sunday, Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba, stopped in the 20th mile.
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