London Marathon 2018: Kenya’s Vivian Cheruiyot Wins but Paula Radcliffe Keeps World Record
Kenya’s Vivian Cheruiyot won the 2018 London Marathon but Paula Radcliffe’s ‘mixed-gender’ race world record remained intact.
Cheruiyot, 34, crossed the finish line in an personal best two hours, 18 minutes and 31 seconds.
That was more than three minutes slower than the 2:15:25 four-time British Olympian Radcliffe ran in 2003.
Mary Keitany and Tirunesh Dibaba had been looking to break Radcliffe’s record but both faded.
Olympic 5,000m champion Cheruiyot ran her first marathon in London last year and finished fourth overall before winning in Frankfurt in October.
Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei (2:20:13) finished second, with Ethiopia’s Tadelech Bekele (2:21:30) third.
Keitany had been on course to break Radcliffe’s record but eventually finished fifth (2:24:27) having lost the lead she had held from the start with around five miles remaining.
Great Britain’s Lily Partridge (2:29:24) claimed a personal best to finish eighth, with team-mate Tracy Barlow (2:32:09) ninth.
How the race was won and lost
Keitany had made her intentions clear before the race by running with male pacemakers in an attempt to overhaul Radcliffe’s record.
And everything looked in control through 10km before Keitany began to pull slightly clear of Dibaba at nine and a half miles, half a minute quicker than Radcliffe.
Keitany’s problems emerged with around 10 miles to go and she eventually fell 14 seconds behind the world record pace after 18 miles.
Dibaba’s struggles were even more severe – on a warm day in the capital – as she dropped down to a walking pace at 30km around Canary Wharf.
Cheruiyot moved up into second place and within sight of Keitany through 21 miles before claiming the race lead and pulling away from Keitany.
It marked a perfectly judged race plan for Cheruiyot who seemingly grew stronger in the closing stages as her rivals faded, with Dibaba unable to finish.
Radcliffe record will be ‘fairly difficult’ to beat
Cheruiyot was pleased with her win just 12 months after her marathon debut, but having seen Keitany and Dibaba falter in their bids to break Radcliffe’s record, feels the mark will be “fairly difficult” to beat.
“The reason it was so good for me today was because I started slowly; I didn’t go with the faster group because the faster group was quicker than I was at the start.
“I didn’t want to race against anybody, I wanted to race alone. So I raced like that.
“When I was in the 5K I saw Dibaba, and I had enough energy that I thought ‘I’m going to get her’. After that, I saw Mary, and I got her, and I thought ‘yes, today I am going to be a winner of the London Marathon’ and I’m so happy.”
Making her London Marathon debut, Partridge was also pleased to finish just her second race over the distance in three attempts.
“I wanted a top 10 finish and I got that but I missed the time I wanted. It gives me something to build on for the rest of the year so I am pleased,” she told BBC Sport.