For the 41st time, the London Marathon was held in the British capital on October 3, 2021.
With well over 40,000 marathon runners, the running event on the Thames has once again established itself as one of the biggest marathons in the world.
The route through London
The route at the London Marathon passed many of the city's sights. Starting from Greenwich Park, the runners passed Tower Bridge, Docklands, the Eastend, the Tower of London, the Thames, Parliament Square, the Palace of Westminster and Buckingham Palace, among others. The finish line was at the Mall.
Internationally, the London Marathon is one of the fastest marathons in the world. Two years ago, for example, Eliud Kipchoge ran a course record of 2:02:37 hours, cementing London's position as the world's second-fastest marathon behind Berlin. In the women's race, course record holder Paula Radcliffe even held the world record with 2:15:25 hours from 2003 to 2019, before Brigid Kosgei broke it in Chicago after 16 years.
Fast elite field
Also in 2021, several top runners from Africa competed in the marathon in London. Marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge was sorely missed, however. The Kenyan had already reached his peak this season with his second Olympic marathon victory in Tokyo at the beginning of August. In London, Kipchoge is the record holder with four victories (2015, 2016, 2018, 2019).
Joining him on the start line, however, was women's world record holder Brigid Kosgei, who finished only 2nd in the marathon at the Summer Olympics in Japan in early August. Kosgei was aiming for her third marathon win in a row in London. Her biggest rivals were Birhane Dibaba (Ethiopia / 2:18:35 hours), Lonah Salpeter (Israel / 2:17:45 hours) and Joyciline Jepskogei (Kenya / 2:18:40 hours).
In the men's race, the elite field was sparse. Only eight runners entered with a best time under 2:10 hours, though six of them clocked under 2:04. Besides defending champion Shura Kitata, his Ethiopian compatriot Birhanu Legese was one of the top favorites in the field. Legese ran an outstanding 2:02:48 in Berlin two years ago. Kitata, on the other hand, had to pull out of the race early at the Olympic Marathon in early August. Also competing in London was Kenyan Titus Ekiru, who won the Milan Marathon this year with a world best time of 2:02:57 hours.
World record holder Kosgei without a chance
In a high-class women's race, five athletes stayed under 2:19 hours. Kenyan Joycilinie Jepkosgei had the best reserves, improving her personal best by almost a minute with a time of 2:17:43. Ethiopian runner-up Degitu Azimeraw also stayed under 2:18 hours with a new personal best of 2:17:58. Marathon world record holder Brigid Kosgei missed the podium despite a good 2:18:40, as Ethiopian Ashete Bekere (2:18:18), a third runner, also finished ahead of Kosgei with a best time. Just behind Kosgei, Israel's Lonah Chemtai Salpeter (2:18:54 hours) finished 5th.
Charlotte Purdue provided an exceptional British performance. After surprisingly not being nominated for the Olympic marathon, she made it into the top 10 in London in tenth place. With 2:23:26 hours, Purdue moved up to 3rd place in the perpetual British marathon list.
Sisay Lemma triumphs in men's race
As in last year's elite marathon, an Ethiopian won the men's race. However, almost as expected, it was not Shura Kitata. The defending champion had to let the leading group go already after a few kilometers and had no chance in the fight for the top positions. For a long time, however, the race for victory was open. A few kilometers before the finish, Sisay Lemma was able to break away from his last pursuers Vincent Kipchuma (Kenya) and Mosinet Geremew (Ethiopia).
With a time of 2:04:01 hours Sisay Lemma ran unchallenged to victory. Like last year, the Kenyan Vincent Kipchuma (2:04:28 hours) finished 2nd. Also the third Mosinet Geremew stayed with 2:04:41 hours under 2:05 hours.
Results London Marathon 2021 ➤ Women
|7||Melly Joan Chelimo||2:21:23|
Results London Marathon 2021 ➤ Men