After the devastation that was the Boston Marathon, runners and fans alike needed a win in the competitive distance running world. Known as the biggest stage in the realm of marathoning, London had the capacity to fill that void. Fill that void, in fact, is exactly what the 2013 installment of the race did.
With some of the biggest names in the sport toeing the line, fans and athletes alike were expecting some fast times. There had been pre-race talk of a course record, and even a world record attempt, so fans were keeping a close eye on the mile pace through the entire race.
Much to the fans' excitement, the men’s race went out in blistering fashion. With the lead pack hitting their 3rd mile in 4:28, the initial 5K mark was reached in 14:26. After this, the leaders continued cruising at an insanely fast clip, hitting 10 miles in 46:56 and the halfway point in 61:34. This brought the lead back through in world record pace, equating to under 2:03:30 finishing time.
Though world record pace continued until the 30K mark, fatigue crept in shortly after. Nearing the 35K mark, Stanley Biwott looked as if the race was in the bag, until he hit the wall hard, fading to 8th, and relinquishing the lead to course record holder and Kenyan, Emmanuel Mutai. This lead, though more convincing, came to a close when fatigue led Mutai to run his final three miles in over five-minute pace. Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia profited on this fatigue (and at one point being nearly a minute behind the lead pack), winning in a time of 2:06:04. He was followed by Mutai in 2:06:34 and Ayele Abshero of Ethipoia in 2:06:57. Patrick Rizzo was the first American in 2:16:05 and 12th place.
While the men’s race will be known for fast times leading to big fades, the women’s race will be remembered by Olympic Champion Tiki Galana of Ethiopia being crashed into by wheel chair racer Josh Cassidy around the 15K mark. Though neither were injured, both went down hard and were affected for the rest of the race.
From the 20 to 25K mark, the pace dropped to a 16:02 5K. This is smoking fast for the women’s race, and dropped the lead pack to four people. After a huge surge around mile 21, Priscah Jeptoo of Kenya took a commanding lead and never lost it. After finishing second in the London Olympics, she went on to win the 2013 marathon in a time of 2:20:15. She was followed by countrywoman Edna Kiplagat in 2:21:32 and Yukiko Akaba of Japan in 2:24:32.