Historic women’s race in London: four women set a previous record

The current winner and Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir took the new best record in an exclusive women’s event; among the men, newcomer Alexander Mutiso Munyao won and Kenenisa Bekele scored another milestone.

Guardar

Nuevo

Jepchirchir's excitement after crossing the finish line.
(Credits: TCS London Marathon 2024)
Jepchirchir's excitement after crossing the finish line. (Credits: TCS London Marathon 2024)

“I see the world record this Sunday.” Open to multiple conjectures, the prediction formulated by Peres Jepchirchir in the run-up to the 44th London Marathon not only materialized but proved to be self-referential: it was the Olympic champion herself who led with a time of 2:16:16 and pulverized the best historical record of an exclusive women’s event.

The fact that praises Jepchirchir’s hard-fought final sprint victory and elevates this edition to a highly prestigious place in the pages of the women’s marathon is that the three immediate guards also improved the previous record, namely, Mary Keitany’s 2:17:01 in 2017, also in London: Tigist Assefa, holder of the absolute world record, ran in 2:16:23, Joyciline Jepkosgei in 2:16:24 and Megertu Alemu finished at 2:16:34.

Huge Brasher, director of the event, said last week that “we are in the Golden Age of the women’s marathon”. Although incipient records may support the verdict, the race record still belongs to the Englishwoman Paula Radcliffe (2:15:25, in 2003).

“I knew a record could be broken, but I didn’t think it would be me,” said the 30-year-old Kenyan, previously champion in New York 2021 and Boston 2022 and who never dropped from third place in a Major. When asked by the defense of her Olympic title, she replied: “I am happy because this was the last test for the Kenyan team and when I crossed the finish line I knew that now it’s time to defend it.”

The men’s 42.125 kilometers delivered their share of excellence. At the premiere in the English capital and in a Great Race, Kenyan Alexander Mutiso Munyao was crowned and disbursed the 35,000 dollars. The 2:04:01 mark placed him far from the race record (2:01:25) set last year by the late Kelvin Kiptum, to whom Munyao dedicated the victory. The most eloquent sign of validity was the work of Kenenisa Bekele: at 41 years and 10 months old, he finished second in 2:04:15, the fastest record since 2019 and improving his own world record among those over 40.

“This is the most important achievement of my career,” said Mutiso Munyao. 
(Credits: TCS London Marathon 2024)
“This is the most important achievement of my career,” said Mutiso Munyao. (Credits: TCS London Marathon 2024)

The main absences were played by Eliud Kipchoge, the top winner in London, with four laurels, and Sifan Hassan, winner in 2023. From their respective tenth and fourth places in the Tokyo marathon in March, they decided to focus entirely on the Olympic race, supplanting competition for training.

The classic course of the third Major of the year, the last before Paris 2024, was born in Blackheath, in south-east London, and ended a few meters from the Palace of St. James. It ran mostly in the vicinity of the Thames River, offered views of emblematic sites such as Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and the London Eye, and there were no protests that altered the course (only pro-Palestinian demonstrators who flew flags of the Arab nation on one side) or attacks, concerns that had forced a tightening of security measures.

Recent Articles