In Pictures: Runners take to streets for London Marathon like no other

PA

Runners defied pouring rain on Sunday to take part in the 40th London Marathon – with only the elite athletes competing in a traditional race in the capital.

Some 45,000 people are running or walking along their own 26.2-mile route around the UK, after the mass event originally planned for April 26 was postponed due to coronavirus.

Elite women

In the elite women’s event in London, world record-holder Brigid Kosgei defended her title around a sodden St James’s Park.

The 26-year-old comfortably won her duel with fellow Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich, the world champion, who was eventually pipped for second by America’s Sarah Hall.

Virgin Money London Marathon
Virgin Money London Marathon
Competitors in action during the elite women’s race
Competitors in action during the elite women’s race
A steward sweeps the course
A steward sweeps the course
Cardboard cut-outs stood in for the usual crowds lining the marathon route - among them former competitors and the Queen
Cardboard cut-outs stood in for the usual crowds lining the marathon route - among them former competitors and the Queen
Passing Horse Guards Parade
Passing Horse Guards Parade
Great Britain’s Stephanie Twell was forced to retire injured
Great Britain’s Stephanie Twell was forced to retire injured
Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei won the elite women’s race
Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei won the elite women’s race
Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei (centre) celebrates winning the elite women’s race alongside second-placed USA’s Sara Hall (left) and Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich in third
Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei (centre) celebrates winning the elite women’s race alongside second-placed USA’s Sara Hall (left) and Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich in third

Elite men

In the men’s race, Eliud Kipchoge’s reign as the king of the London Marathon came to a shock end as Shura Kitata emerged from the rain and the gloom to become the new champion.

In a stunning upset, Kipchoge, who had won all of his previous four London Marathons and had not lost over the distance in seven years, ended up finishing in eighth place.

Instead the title was up for grabs and it was Ethiopian Kitata who snatched it in two hours, five minutes and 41 seconds, pipping Kenya’s Vincent Kipchumba on the line after a thrilling sprint finish.

Virgin Money London Marathon – St James’ Park
Virgin Money London Marathon – St James’ Park
Athletes make their way past Horse Guards Parade
Athletes make their way past Horse Guards Parade
Sir Mo Farah
Sir Mo Farah
Kenya’s Benson Kipruto in action
Kenya’s Benson Kipruto in action
Ben Connor
Ben Connor
Ben Connor
Ben Connor
Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata wins the elite men’s race
Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata wins the elite men’s race
Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata (centre) celebrates victory alongside second-placed  Vincent Kipchumba of Kenya (right) and third-placed Sisay Lemma of Ethiopia
Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata (centre) celebrates victory alongside second-placed Vincent Kipchumba of Kenya (right) and third-placed Sisay Lemma of Ethiopia

Virtual marathon

The Duke of Sussex, Patron of the London Marathon Charitable Trust, poses with runners in Los Angeles before they take on the virtual Virgin Money London Marathon
The Duke of Sussex, Patron of the London Marathon Charitable Trust, poses with runners in Los Angeles before they take on the virtual Virgin Money London Marathon
Sophie the Countess of Wessex joined Tomas Cardillo-Zallo, a member of Mencap’s learning disability running team and his mother Sue for the first 1.5 miles of their virtual London Marathon on the Long Walk in Windsor
Sophie the Countess of Wessex joined Tomas Cardillo-Zallo, a member of Mencap’s learning disability running team and his mother Sue for the first 1.5 miles of their virtual London Marathon on the Long Walk in Windsor
Countess of Wessex
Countess of Wessex
Meanwhile in South Shields, Colin Burgin-Plews, 52, undertook his fifth marathon in his home town
Meanwhile in South Shields, Colin Burgin-Plews, 52, undertook his fifth marathon in his home town
London Marathon 2020
London Marathon 2020
Ken Jones, 87, takes part in the virtual London Marathon in his home town of Strabane, west Tyrone
Ken Jones, 87, takes part in the virtual London Marathon in his home town of Strabane, west Tyrone

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