Equality, records and results from the London Marathon – AW

    The big performances and leading results feature in our round-up

    From my personal experience, this was my 41st consecutive London Marathon and I achieved my 49th consecutive year of marathoning, but it went so badly it might be the last as I was just outside the necessary Good for Age qualifying time. However, if this was my last it was a great one to go out on.

    Windy weather made the fast times even more remarkable and a record 50,000 plus finishers, together with fantastic atmosphere, crowd support, record charity income and great British performances made it one of the best Londons – and marathons anywhere – ever.

    Here are a few of my final observances as a full-time journalist.


    There was general appreciation for the fact that men, women and wheelchair athletes now get equitable prize money but is it really equality?

    I go so far back I can remember when women never ran marathons. I also recall even 40 years ago when big half-marathon events gave cars to the first man and a tracksuit to the first woman and when the wheelchair women’s event consisted of just Tanni Grey-Thompson. For female and para athletes, the playing field has not been a level one.

    But now the wheelchair events arguably have even more of the world’s leading exponents than the able-bodied races and of course, with their wheelchairs, the athletes have huge expenses with buying and maintaining their chairs.

    Marcel Hug (LM Events)

    However, for the best, the wheelchair race is not the same endurance event as running the marathon.

    Thanks to their top of the range chairs, the leading men can break 1:30 and while I am sure it is still very gruelling, it clearly doesn’t take as much out of you as running does, otherwise many of the leading exponents wouldn’t have also done Boston less than a week before.

    Runners don’t really have the option of winning prize money twice in a week, with the highest elite only able to do two or three a year while a wheelchair athlete (given the shorter distance and the fact the event resembles cycling more than running) can do many more.

    There is an argument also that the huge costs of a wheelchair precludes all but the most wealthy nations but wheelchair racers can point out that while the elite running races are Kenya and Ethiopia  dominated and only nine different nations feature in the running top 20, the wheelchair racers can boast a healthier 13 different nations, although clearly there are worldwide very few top-class wheelchair racers compared to the number of marathoners.

    British performances

    You could have got long odds on British men occupying two of the top four places given the quality of the entries but this was hugely promising from Emile Cairess and Mahamed Mahmed – two runners who should only get much faster. So, too, should Marc Scott, who ran 2:11 on his debut.

    Eight other Brits broke 2:20 in the elite men’s race, while a further eight did so off of the mass start, making it 19 in total – a good total given the wind and that London can be very lonely for those aiming for a sub-2:20 run compared to races like Seville and Valencia.

    Emile Cairess and Mahamed Mahamed (LM Events)

    The women’s race wasn’t so positive, with some leading Brits sitting back on their 2023 times or absent and only one Brit broke 2:35 (a great debut for Mhairi Maclennan in 2:29:15) and just nine UK athletes bettered 2:40.

    For tactical perfection I draw attention to Molly Smith, who was second-fastest Brit and ran from the mass start. The debutante, who is the sister of Jake Smith (who paced her for a brief period after fulfilling his elite duties) ran splits of 18:19 for the opening downhill 5km and then an astonishingly even 18:36, 18:33, 18:32, 18:36, 18:38, 18:38, 18:34 and then sped up over the last 2km for a 2:36:22.

    Kenenisa Bekele and masters performances

    After this second place and world masters record is there any doubt that Kenenisa Bekele is the greatest all-round distance runner of all time? To run 2:04 at 41, over two decades after winning his first senior global title is astonishing and, if you add in his world records, Olympic titles, world cross-country golds – 24 global golds plus 11 other global medals – he is unsurpassed.

    In terms of remarkable records, though, Jeannie Rice pushes him close but it is a confusing situation. The 76-year-old had run slightly quicker at the downhill and point-to-point Boston last year but her 3:33:27 was almost 15 minutes quicker than her official W75 world mark set in Chicago in 2023. However, that is the gun time and she had a Chicago chip time of 3:34:32.

    For good measure, at London she beat all the M75 men and W70 women to defy both gender and age. However, it should be noted that she didn’t cross the start line at London until nine minutes after the mass race had started so the officious WMA may ratify her London run at 3:42 though she almost certainly set off as early as she could.


    With over 50,000 runners, it was narrow in places but the general organisation from my own experience was first class as usual.

    I did have a loo queuing problem (on the yellow start) compared to normal but, otherwise, the start procedure, distance markers, water availability, toilets on course, marshalling, crowd control and baggage collection were fine.

    There were lots of other records apart from Bekele, Rice and Peres Jepchirchir’s women-only record, though some seem a little forced albeit impressive if anyone wants to run a marathon wearing 100 t-shirts such as Brendan Matthews achieved.

    However I am also in awe that Ben Kellett set a marathon record for carrying a bike (3:54:52) and was quicker than me. As he started some time after, thankfully he did not pass me.

    I was overtaken, though, by the fastest marathon dressed as a sweet food, though I don’t normally pass on cake. Laura Baker (yes genuine name) passed me and soon desserted me and left me in tiers.

    cake passing Steve Smythe

    Elite men: 1 Alexander Mutiso Munyao KEN 2:04:01; 2 Kenenisa Bekele ETH 2:04:15; 3 Emile Cairess 2:06:46; 4 Mahamed Mahamed 2:07:05; 5 Hassan Chahdi FRA 2:07:30; 6 Henok Tesfay ERI 2:09:22; 7 Hendrik Pfeiffer GER 2:10:00; 8 Kinde Atanaw ETH 2:10:03; 9 Johannes Motschmann GER 2:10:39; 10 Brian Shrader USA 2:10:50; 11 Marc Scott 2:11:19; 12 Alexander Lepretre 2:15:34; 13 Stephen Scullion IRL 2:16:04; 14 James Hoad 2:16:29; 15 Juan Luis Barrios MEX 2:16:37; 16 Callum Hawkins 2:17:34; 17 Daniel Hamilton 2:17:35; 18 Alexander Lawrence 2:17:41; 19 Kieran Walker 2:18:32; 20 Dominic Jones USA 2:19:10; 21 Adam Bowden 2:19:34; 22 Charlie Sandison 2:20:11; 23 Ryan Thomson 2:21:24; 24 William Mycroft 2:21:48; 25 Martin Hoare IRL 2:22:59; 26 Kieran Clements 2:23:44; 27 Norman Shreeve 2:24:29; 28 David Bishop 2:25:54; 29 Seifu Tura ETH 2:36:20

    Alexander Mutiso Munyao (London Marathon Events)

    Elite Women: Mar: 1 Peres Jepchirchir KEN 2:16:16; 2 Tigst Assefa ETH 2:16:23; 3 Joyciline Jepkosgei KEN 2:16:24; 4 Alemu Megertu ETH 2:16:34; 5 Brigid Kosgei KEN 2:19:02; 6 Sheila Kiprotich KEN 2:19:31; 7 Tigist Ketema ETH 2:23:21; 8 Yalemzerf Yehualaw ETH 2:23:26; 9 Ruth Chepngetich KEN 2:24:36; 10 Abreha Tsige ETH 2:25:03; 11 Mhairi MacLennan 2:29:15; 12 Becky Briggs 2:35:25; 13 Rachel Hodgkinson 2:36:49; 14 Helen Winsor 2:38:40; 15 Alice Wright 2:40:51; 16 Anya Culling 2:44:00

    Peres Jepchirchir (London Marathon Events)

    Mass men: 1 M Kalideni RSA 2:14:27; 2 G James 2:14:59; 3 J Dahike GER 2:15:42; 4 W Maunsell IRL 2:16:34; 5 S Hogan 2:17:02; 6 J Nipperess 2:17:17; 7 Y Malusi RSA 2:17:34; 8 Y Fukuda JPN 2:18:41; 9 N Torry M45 2:18:46; 10 S Blake 2:19:10; 11 E Shepherd 2:19:13; 12 D Haymes 2:19:19; 13 D Mansfield IRL 2:19:22; 14 C Thomas 2:19:24; 15 T Martyn 2:19:56; 16 N Dawson 2:20:22; 17 A Peacock 2:20:56; 18 M Hashi 2:21:11; 19 A Nummela 2:21:18; 20 O Garrod 2:22:13; 21 J Mitchell 2:22:27; 22 J Reeder 2:22:29; 23 G Parki 2:22:31; 24 S Nott 2:22:38; 25 K Seyed 2:22:44

    Mass women: 1 A Fink SLO 2:33:53; 2 M Smith 2:36:22; 3 A Eykelbosch 2:36:26; 4 V Hopkins 2:37:17; 5 L Reed W40 2:38:02; 6 R Murray 2:38:52; 7 E Marchant 2:41:07; 8 R Bunting 2:41:14; 9 K Mauthoor 2:42:16; 10 A Harrold 2:42:43; 11 S Hunter 2:43:17; 12 C Thornton 2:43:40; 13 A Braham W45 2:43:43; 14 L Flynn W40 2:43:52; 15 L Bailey W40 2:44:02; 16 R Ezra Ham 2:44:46; 17 M Perlman W40 2:44:57; 18 S Holt W40 2:45:34; 19 R Piggott 2:45:41; 20 M Gibson W40 2:45:42; 21 S McIntosh W45 2:46:22; 22 G Griffith 2:46:25; 23 S Howells 2:46:27; 24 S Wernicke GER 2:46:45; 25 N Drakeford 2:46:50


    Kenenisa Bekele was the stand out masters male runner by finishing a fine second overall and beating his own M40 world record, with 2:04:15, after mounting a serious bid for overall victory, Martin Duff reports.

    The 41-year-old Ethiopian, like overall winner Alex Munyao, slowed towards the finish but otherwise reeled off successive 5km splits consistently inside 14:40 before a 14:47 and finally a 15:08 to the 40km mark.

    Bekele’s time shaved four seconds from his own record set in Valencia in December and his new world record was down to a chase up the Mall that saw him just fall 14 second short of an overall victory. More on his race in our main report.

    It was not the only world record though and there was an astonishing world mark from Jeannie Rice.

    The American already held the W75 mark with a 3:48:02 in Chicago last year but here she ran an incredible 3:33:27 to take 14 minutes off of her official mark.

    Her 5km splits were initially very even – 24:30, 24:45, 24:40, 24:45, 24:44, 25:01 and 25;33 before slowing to a final 26:48.

    She had run a few seconds faster at Boston last year though but that course is obviously not record-legal.


    The first Brit home was top M45 Nick Torry, in 2:18:46, as M40 Robert Brundish was next in 2:23:10. The age group winner’s M45 time was a minute outside Ian Leitch’s British best mark. A couple of early fast 5km splits saw Torry through 10km in a chip time of 32:27, having crossed the start line six seconds down on the gun.

    Nick Torry (Cliff Hide)

    The Kent AC man reached the half-distance, at Tower Bridge, in 68:59 before slowing only marginally in the second half of the distance, as only nine other Brits from the Elite race were faster. It was his first outing over the distance since placing second M40 in 2021 in 2:18:39.

    This was only Brundish’s second marathon following his 2:24:58 in December’s Valencia event and only a few weeks after a 2:03:46 run out in the tough Stenning Stinger multi-terrain 20 miler.

    Jonathan Walton retained his London M50 title, albeit a couple of minutes down on his 2023 time with 2:23:47. It was the Leeds man’s third M50 victory to go with a 2022 second spot.

    Norman Mawhinney was another to retain his age group title and the Ulsterman did so in 2:58:26 and, with it, the M65 crown.

    At the top of the age range, Stuart Mann took the M80 title in 3:58:19, from Robin Scott and former London age group winner Martin Ford.


    Lauren Reed (formerly Deadman) was the first age 40 and over woman home, in the Mass start, when winning by nearly three minutes from Rebecca Bunting in 2:38:02. It was only the Havering runner’s second outing over the distance and was a PB by more than four minutes, having turned 40 earlier this year.

    After passing 5km in 18:05, Reed inevitably slowed but was through 10km in 36:41 and the half-distance in 78:03, Despite her last two 5km splits being outside 19-minutes, an age group victory was hers.

    The second quickest W40 was, however, Helen Gaunt, who had won the W40 section in the past two years, who ran ran 2:38:40, for 14th, in the Elite race.

    Elsewhere, the other stand out masters’ runner was British W60 record-holder Treena Johnson, but the Dewsbury runner was just over a minute outside her age group record when taking her class by more than ten minutes in 2:59:06.

    Ambitious early kilometres saw Johnson through 10km in 41:25 and then the half-distance in 88:12, but still just about on target for her own British record. Time was then lost in the closing miles with her 5km split to the 40km line nearly a minute slower than her first.

    First W45 home was former junior star Alice Braham, who retained her London title in 2:43:43, five minutes clear of Claire Grima, despite being almost three minutes slower over the second half of the race.

    Thirty years ago she won the English Schools 3000m title and she also won the English National cross-country in 1995.

    Bristol and West’s Annabel Granger has shown good form since moving up to the W50 group and repeated her 2021 W45 age group victory with a 2:48:26 clocking, just three seconds clear of Karima Harris.

    Despite the close finish with Harris, Granger actually trailed eventually third-placer Sarah Swinhoe to almost halfway but she was ahead of Harris from the start and gradually extended her lead from 31 seconds after 5km, 44 after 10km to reach the half-distance 61 seconds clear of Harris in 82:24. Harris lost a few more seconds to reach 25km 68 seconds down. Then, despite slowing, the Highgate runner rapidly began to close the gap and 54 seconds became 18, then just five seconds at 40km before Granger just held on.

    Alice-Riddell-Webster was one of just a few leading age group runners to set a PB, albeit by just three seconds, with 2:58:15 when placing top W55, her first age group win in the capital.

    Sandy Masters (Martin Duff)

    It was the first race on home tarmac for W65 winner Sandy Masters, after good placings in the Tokyo Marathon and the Prague Half. Her 3:28:12 shaved a couple of ticks from her lifetime best set in Chicago last year.


    M40: 1 K Bekele (ETH) 2:04:15; 2 R Brundish (Horsh J) 2:23:10; 3 C Sedeno (CRC) 2:23:20

    M45: 1 N Torry (Kent) 2:18:46; 2 B Shearer (Camb H) 2:27:12; 3 R McDowell (HW) 2:28:56

    M50: 1 J Walton (Leeds) 2:32:47; 2 P Gaimster (Win RC) 2:35;57; 3 N Burton (Horsf) 2:35:59

    M55: 1 R Ashby (USA) 2:38:29; 2 G Bale (P’stock) 2:42;18; 3 A Pendred (W’boro) 2:42:28

    M60: 1 G Whellams (Salf) 2:52:42; 2 O Dare (Witham) 2:54:23; 3 V Matejik (Worth) 2:57:07

    M65: 1 N Mawhinney (Scrabo) 2:58:26; 2 G Neville (SHAEF) 2:58:47; 3 J Young (USA) 2:59:53

    M70: 1 D Gibson (Tri Hard) 3:13:31; 2 J Etter (SUI) 3:18:53; 3 J Jolly (FRA) 3:26:35

    M75: 1 A Jeyes (Ivanhoe) 3:44:20; 2 M Fluckiger (SUI) 3:50:16; 3 C Taylor (Trent P) 4:00:28

    M80: 1 S Mann (Herts P) 3:58:19; 2 R Scott Kilb) 4:33:10; 3 M Ford Chelt) 4:43:43


    W40: 1 L Reed (Hav’ing) 2:38:02; 2 H Gaunt (Ton) 2:38:40; 3 R Bunting (Lon H) 2:41:14

    W45: 1 A Braham (Ealing E) 2:43:43; 2 C Grima (HW) 2:48:33; 3 K Raczkiewicz (POL) 2:51:52

    W50: 1 A Granger (B&W) 2:48:26; 2 K Harris (High) 2:48:29; 3 S Swinhoe (Lon H) 2:51:39

    W55: 1 A Riddell-Webster (Fulham) 2:58:15; 2 L Trachsel (USA) 2:59:07; 3 P Habbick (St Alb) 3:03:19

    W60: 1 T Johnson (Dews) 2:59:06; 2 M Slocum IRE) 3:09:47; 3 K Flikschuh (GER) 3:14:27

    W65: 1 S Masters (W’bury) 3:28:12; 2 J Kidd (Kenil) 3:31:41; 3 M Davis (Strag) 3:40:22

    W70: 1 G Wasielewski (USA) 3:43:03; 2 J Orme (Portis) 3:48:34; 3 D Peterson (USA) 3:56:05

    W75: 1 J Rice (USA) 3:33:27; 2 J Davies (E&E) 4:07:56; 3 L Ashmore (Eg H) 4:14:47

    W80: 1 V Brown 5:52:45; 2 T Buckhanan (USA) 5:59:53; 3 L Morono (Metros, ESP) 6:27:0

    Wheelchair: Men:1 M Hug SUI 1:28:35; 2 D Romanchuk USA 1:29:06; 3 D Weir 1:29:58; 4 T Suzuki JPN 1:30:42; 5 S Watanabe JPN 1:35:33; 6 A Pike USA 1:35:35; 7 G Schipper NED 1:35:36; 8 J Cassidy CAN 1:35:40; 9 E Correll USA 1:36:59; 10 J Smith 1:37:00; 11 P Monahan IRL 1:37:06; 12 S Lawson 1:37:06; 13 J Botello ESP 1:37:07; 14 M McCabe 1:41:37; 15 J Lappin AUS 1:41:50

    Marcel Hug and Catherine Debrunner (LM Events)

    Women: 1 C Debrunner SUI 1:38:54; 2 M Schar SUI 1:45:00; 3 T McFadden USA 1:45:51; 4 M de Rozario AUS 1:45:54; 5 W Tsuchida JPN 1:50:18; 6 E Rainbow-Cooper 1:50:39; 7 P Eachus SUI 1:50;39; 8 V De Souza BRA 1:50:43; 9 N Den Boer NED 1:50:45; 10 J Fesemyer USA 1:50:45; 11 C Dawes AUS 1:50:48; 12 T Kina JPN 1:50:48; 13 M Wheeler USA 1:51:11; 14 M Menje GER 1:53:49; 15 N Alphonse MRI 2:02:32

    Mini Marathon (British Champs)

    U17 men (2.6km): 1 O Patton 7:27; 2 M Clark 7:32; 3 T Chadwick 7:32; 4 Z Dunn 7:34; 5 K Fulton 7:35; 6 A Lennon 7:35

    Joseph Scanes and Evan Grime (LM Events)

    U15: 1 J Scanes 7:33;  2 E Grime 7:33; 3 J Meyburgh 7:41; 4 P Aron 7:45; 5 A Wilkinson 7:45; 6 A Lane 7:47

    U13: 1 T McCartie 8:18; 2 E Cunniffe 8:24; 3 T Creed 8:24; 4 E Langley-Aybar 8:24; 5 B Roberts 8:24; 6 O McDonald 8:32

    Katie Pye (LM Events)

    U17 women: 1 K Pye 8:20; 2 L Belshaw 8:23; 3 I Jones 8:30; 4 A Teasdale 8:32; 5 E Nicholson 8:33; 6 A James 8:34

    U15: 1 O Forrest 8:26; 2 J March 8:28; 3 E Whitworth 8:34; 4 H Cross 8:37; 5 P Quinn 8:38; 6 K Scott 8:38

    Olivia Forrest (LM Events)

    U13: 1 S Smith 8:47; 2 M Mullett 8:53; 3 P Guest 8:55; 4 E Birchall 9:00; 5 P Phillipson 9:03; 6 M Bown 9:05

    Additional results will be added when processed by Power of 10.

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