Kebede, Jeptoo Win London Marathon Races Amid Increased SecurityChristopher Elser
Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia and Kenya’s Priscah Jeptoo won the London Marathon amid increased security after the bombing that killed three at the Boston race.
Kebede, the 2010 winner, passed Kenya’s Emmanuel Mutai with a kilometer to go yesterday to win in 2 hours, 6 minutes and 4 seconds. Mutai, the 2011 champion, was about 30 seconds back, and Ayele Abshero of Ethiopia finished third. The men were on a record pace for the first half of the race before slowing.
“I had a little pain in my side in the early part of the race,” Kebede told reporters. “But as time went on, it got better and better. I could feel myself getting closer and closer to Mutai and that made me stronger.”
Jeptoo, the Olympic silver medalist, ran away from world champion and fellow Kenyan Edna Kiplagat with six miles left and finished on her own in 2:20:15. Japan’s Yukiko Akaba was third.
About 35,000 runners took part in the marathon, six days after two bombs at the Boston Marathon killed three people and injured more than 175 others. London police added several hundred officers for the event. Crowds were five to 10 people deep along some of the route in sunny and bright conditions. Organizers said more than 700,000 spectators attended the race.
The 26.2-mile (42-kilometer) race began in Blackheath in southeast London with the start of the women’s elite race and finished near Buckingham Palace. Officials held a 30-second moment of silence before each of the three starts in memory of the Boston victims, while the runners wore black ribbons.
“After what happened in Boston, I wanted to come down and support everyone running the London Marathon,” Michele Parsons, a 38-year-old from North Carolina visiting friends in London, said in an interview “I’m glad it all went well, seeing the runners wearing the black ribbons was really touching.”
Olympic women’s champion Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia collided with a wheelchair participant in the first half of the race, and fell off the pace.
“The safest thing would be to have the chairs start first because one of these years a woman is going to have a leg broken, a career ruined,” Canadian wheelchair athlete Josh Cassidy, who collided with Gelana, told the British Broadcasting Corp. “It’s just not worth having this program if the races are going to suffer.”
In the men’s wheelchair race, Australia’s Kurt Fearnley beat Marcel Hug of Switzerland, passing six-time champion David Weir of Britain, who finished fifth. American Tatyana McFadden, who in Boston, was champion of the women’s wheelchair event.