2020 London Marathon - As it happened

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge (centre in white singlet) in the leading pack during the men's race of the London Marathon on October 4, 2020.

Photo credit: Pool | London Marathon

What you need to know:

  • Kenyan great Eliud Kipchoge will be seeking a fifth title in London, having won in 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019
  • Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele, the second fastest man in marathon, withdrew from the race on Friday with a calf injury
  • Brigid Kosgei tore apart a star-studded field to win the women's race in 2:18:58

42km: Ethiopian Shura Kitata produces a magnificent sprint finish to beat Kenya's Kipchumba to the tape and win the 40th edition of London Marathon in a time of 2:05:41.

40km: Kitata, Geremew and Kipchumba cross 40km in 1:59:19 with one lap to go at St James Park. A different script that nobody expected waiting to be written with Kipchoge out of contention.

38km: Interesting scenario just after 35km mark. Shura Kitata moves to the front as Kipchoge started to drift back. Four Ethiopians and one Kenyan Vincent Kipchumba hit the 38km mark in 1:55:20 as Kipchoge's reign at London seems close. He won't be winning his fifth London title. He is slowly falling to the high standards he set himself.

35km: Pace has been injected and game on as Kipchoge takes off his cap! A pack of nine athletes hit the 35km mark in 1:44:14. Is it dangerous for Kipchoge with an estimated 20 minutes of running remaining?

30km: The GOAT drops his cap and now it looks like it's safe to say, it's that time for real business.

1:24:23: Sissay Lemma takes to the front. Vincent Kipchumba behind.

25km: Two pace makers drop out with one remaining. Pace has been injected as Marius Kipserem, Kipchoge and four other athletes go past 25km in 1:14:22.

15km: Kipchoge has a word in the ear of the pace setters to up things a little. It’s comfortable so far, with the pack going through 15km in 44:31. It seems it won’t be a fast race as Ethiopian duo Mosinet Geremew and Mule Wasihun among others keeping Kipchoge company.

10km: The leading pack goes past the 10km mark in 29:45. Defending champion Eliud Kipchoge, in a white vest and black cap, has won the London Marathon four times in 2015 (2:04:42), 2016(2:03:05), 2018(2:04:17), 2019 (2:02:37). Around 10 runners in this lead group with Kipchoge, Mosinet Geremew, Gedion Kipketer, Shura Kitata tucked in behind the pacemakers looking comfortable. It's a steady pace so far.

12:50pm: The GOAT looks like he has asked for some injection of speed into the race. And here we go now!

Kipchoge and the lead pack go through 5 miles in 23:52 minutes.

12:15pm: We are underway in the men's race.

We are 15 minutes away from the kick-off time for the men's race. Will it be Kipchoge again?

Ruth Chepng'etich came home third behind American Sarah Hall.

2:18:58:  Brigid wins it! The world record holder retains her London Marathon in style. peerless and unstoppable she is at the moment.

40km: Women's only world record won't happen as defending champion Brigid Kosgei passes the 40km mark in 2:11:41 with Ruth Chepng'etich staying second two minutes and 17seconds off the pace. Sara Hall from USA overtakes Ethiopian Ashete Bekere as they approach 40km.

35km: Defending champion Brigid Kosgei hits the 35km mark in 1:55:00. A hamstring injury starting to take toll on World champion Ruth Chepng'etich who falls off the pace by 46 seconds. Ashete Bekere is two minutes back with Sarah Hall almost catching her.

1:46:10: The defending champion, Brigid, decides enough is enough. She steps on the gas peddle and is now 10 seconds ahead of Ruth with 12km to go. Third-placed Ethiopia's Ashete Bekele is one minute and 10 seconds off the pace with Valery Aiyabei off by two minutes and three seconds.

30km: Brigid Kosgei and Ruth Chepng'etich going shoulder to shoulder with thrilling exchange as they approach 30km mark.

1:21:17: Pacesetter Vivian Kiplagat paves way for Ruth Chepng'etich and Brigid Kosgei after the 25km mark.

Ruth Chepng'etich (left) and Brigid Kosgei go head to head in London.

1:08:11: Pacesetter Vivian Kiplagat takes Brigid Kosgei and Ruth Chepng'etich through halfway mark in 1:08:11 with Valary Aiyabei falling back from the trio by 55 seconds.

1:04:35: Remaining pacesetter Vivian Kiplagat takes defending Brigid Kosgei and Ruth Chepng'etich through 20km in 1:04:35 as Valary Aiyabei drifts back.

Brigid Kosgei in 2020 London Marathon.

54:00 mins: 12 laps to go in the circuit at St James Park but both Brigid and Ruth look strong.

52:40 mins: Valary is dropped. Now it's Brigid and Ruth at the front! Vivian Kiplagat doing some good work with the pacing.

15km: Sheila Chelangat, a pace setter, drops. World champion Ruth, world record holder Brigid and Frankfurt Marathon champion Valary Aiyabei now paced by one pace setter at the front.

42:06 mins: No much change in the lead group. Looks like Vivian, the mercurial Kenyan long distance runner, is struggling in the second pack. Though it's really hard to tell when she is not in her groove. Her victory here in 2018 was a tactical one. She refused to follow Mary Keitany when she broke early, but struck late to win. Could she spring another surprise?

9.40am: World record holder Brigid Kosgei in her element.

23:54 mins: There is a slight splinter in the lead pack. Brigid, Ruth and Bekere create a small gap between them and Vivian and others who were in the lead pack.

9.39am: Harambee Stars defender Erick "Marcelo" Ouma is watching.

9:35am: The wet weather in London not suitable for fast times. We've done 21:21.03 so far.

9:31am: Brigid, Ruth, Vivian, Bekere lumped together in the lead pack.

9:15am: Here we  go! The women's race is on.

Even the organisers of the race can't wait to get started.

9:00am: Fifteen minutes before the women's race kicks off at the St. James Park.

Former Kenyan Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka wished the athletes luck in London.

The race will be televised live on Nation Media Group’s NTV Kenya and NTV Uganda.

Defending women’s champion Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei kicks off the show at 9:15am (East African Time) before compatriot and men’s champion Eliud Kipchoge steps onto the redesigned course at 12:15pm (EAT).

Some facts

This year's race, postponed from April 26 due to the coronavirus pandemic, is the 40th edition.

Kenyan great Eliud Kipchoge will be seeking a fifth title in London, having won in 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019.

The women's field has two past winners, defending champion Brigid Kosgei and 2018 winner Vivian Cheruiyot, both from Kenya.

Kipchoge is the world record holder (men) while Kosgei holds the women's record of 2:14:04 from her victory in Chicago last year. Kipchoge set the men's time of 2:01:39 in Berlin in 2018.

Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele, the second fastest man in marathon, withdrew from the race on Friday with a calf injury. The world was bracing for a Kipchoge v Bekele contest but will have to wait long.