In Pictures: Runners take to streets for London Marathon like no other

The annual race was pushed back to October 4 and only the elite athletes were able to race in central London.

Runners wearing London Marathon running numbers cross Tower Bridge
Runners wearing London Marathon running numbers cross Tower Bridge

Runners defied pouring rain on Sunday to take part in the 40th London Marathon – with only the elite athletes competing in a traditional race in the capital.

Some 45,000 people are running or walking along their own 26.2-mile route around the UK, after the mass event originally planned for April 26 was postponed due to coronavirus.

Elite women

In the elite women’s event in London, world record-holder Brigid Kosgei defended her title around a sodden St James’s Park.

The 26-year-old comfortably won her duel with fellow Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich, the world champion, who was eventually pipped for second by America’s Sarah Hall.

Virgin Money London Marathon
It was an early start for the elite women in St James’s Park (Adam Davy/PA)
Competitors in action during the elite women’s race
Competitors in action during the elite women’s race (John Sibley/PA)
A steward sweeps the course
A steward sweeps the course after heavy rain (Ian Walton/PA)
Cardboard cut-outs stood in for the usual crowds lining the marathon route - among them former competitors and the Queen
Cardboard cut-outs stood in for the usual crowds lining the marathon route – among them former competitors and the Queen (John Sibley/PA)
Passing Horse Guards Parade
Passing Horse Guards Parade (Adam Davy/PA)
Great Britain’s Stephanie Twell was forced to retire injured
Great Britain’s Stephanie Twell was forced to retire injured (Ian Walton/PA)
Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei won the elite women’s race
Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei won the elite women’s race (Richard Heathcoate/PA)
Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei (centre) celebrates winning the elite women’s race alongside second-placed USA’s Sara Hall (left) and Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich in third
Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei (centre) celebrates winning the elite women’s race alongside second-placed Sara Hall from the USA (left) and Kenya’s Ruth Chepngetich, who came third (Richard Heathcoate/PA)

Elite men

In the men’s race, Eliud Kipchoge’s reign as the king of the London Marathon came to a shock end as Shura Kitata emerged from the rain and the gloom to become the new champion.

In a stunning upset, Kipchoge, who had won all of his previous four London Marathons and had not lost over the distance in seven years, ended up finishing in eighth place.

Instead the title was up for grabs and it was Ethiopian Kitata who snatched it in two hours, five minutes and 41 seconds, pipping Kenya’s Vincent Kipchumba on the line after a thrilling sprint finish.

Virgin Money London Marathon – St James’ Park
The men’s elite race got under way at 10.15am (Adam Davy/PA)
Athletes make their way past Horse Guards Parade
Athletes make their way past Horse Guards Parade (Adam Davy/PA)
Sir Mo Farah
Sir Mo Farah during the men’s race (Richard Heathcoate/PA)
Kenya’s Benson Kipruto in action
Kenya’s Benson Kipruto in action (John Sibley/PA)
Ben Connor
Ben Connor was flying the flag for Great Britain (Ian Walton/PA)
Ben Connor
He was ready for a rest at the finish line (Richard Heathcoate/PA)
Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata wins the elite men’s race
Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata wins the elite men’s race (Richard Heathcoate/PA)
Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata (centre) celebrates victory alongside second-placed  Vincent Kipchumba of Kenya (right) and third-placed Sisay Lemma of Ethiopia
Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata (centre) celebrates victory alongside second-placed Vincent Kipchumba of Kenya (right) and third-placed Sisay Lemma of Ethiopia (Richard Heathcoate/PA)

Elite wheelchair

In the men’s wheelchair race, Great Britain’s David Weir missed out on a ninth victory, finishing second behind Canada’s Brent Lakatos.

Virgin Money London Marathon – St James’ Park
The Netherlands’ Nikita Den boer and Switzerland’s Manuela Schar in action during the elite wheelchair race (Ian Walton/PA)
Virgin Money London Marathon – St James’ Park
Great Britain’s David Weir and Switzerland’s Marcel Hug race near St James’ Park (Ian Walton/PA)
Great Britain’s John Boy Smith
Heartbreak for Great Britain’s John Boy Smith, who had to retire (John Sibley/PA)
Virgin Money London Marathon – St James’ Park
Racing down The Mall (Richard Heathcoate/PA)
Great Britain’s David Weir in action during the elite wheelchair race
Great Britain’s David Weir in action during the elite wheelchair race (John Sibley/PA)
Canada’s Brent Lakatos wins the wheelchair race
Canada’s Brent Lakatos wins the wheelchair race (Richard Heathcoate/PA)

Virtual marathon

The Duke of Sussex, Patron of the London Marathon Charitable Trust, poses with runners in Los Angeles before they take on the virtual Virgin Money London Marathon
The Duke of Sussex, patron of the London Marathon Charitable Trust, poses with runners in Los Angeles before they take on the virtual Virgin Money London Marathon (Bob Martin/London Marathon Events/PA)
Sophie the Countess of Wessex joined Tomas Cardillo-Zallo, a member of Mencap’s learning disability running team and his mother Sue for the first 1.5 miles of their virtual London Marathon on the Long Walk in Windsor
The Countess of Wessex joined Tomas Cardillo-Zallo, a member of Mencap’s learning disability running team, and his mother Sue, for the first 1.5 miles of their virtual London Marathon on the Long Walk in Windsor (David Rose/The Daily Telegraph/PA)
Countess of Wessex
Sophie, who has been a patron of Mencap since 2004, said it was an ‘honour’ to take part, adding: ‘Tomas has shown what people with a learning disability can achieve with the right support. He is an inspiration.’ (David Rose/The Daily Telegraph/PA)
Meanwhile in South Shields, Colin Burgin-Plews, 52, undertook his fifth marathon in his home town
Meanwhile in South Shields, Colin Burgin-Plews, 52, undertook his fifth marathon in his home town (Owen Humphreys/PA)
London Marathon 2020
This runner took in one of the more familiar sights of the usual marathon route, heading over Tower Bridge (Victoria Jones/PA)
London Marathon 2020
All smiles on the Embankment in central London (Victoria Jones/PA)
Ken Jones, 87, takes part in the virtual London Marathon in his home town of Strabane, west Tyrone
‘Ever Present’ Ken Jones, 87, takes part in the virtual London Marathon in his home town of Strabane, west Tyrone (Niall Carson/PA)
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