Sir Mo makes record mark at the hottest-ever London Marathon with British best
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Newham & Essex Beagles Sir Mo Farah set a new British record at the hottest-ever London Marathon on Sunday.
It was a day for records tumbling in the sweltering heat, as Mother Nature and wheelchair athlete David Weir also made historic contributions to the event.
Farah finished third in the men’s race, despite an initial 11-second discrepancy between the two official times.
The 35-year-old multiple Olympic and world gold medallist struggled with the pace, the hot conditions and mix-ups over water bottles, but still beat Steve Jones’ 33-year-old record with a time – ratified more than an hour after crossing the finishing line – of two hours, six minutes and 21 seconds.
Race organisers had previously urged runners to reconsider aiming for personal bests and suggested ditching the fancy dress costumes in unseasonably warm April weather.
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It would go on to be the warmest London Marathon on record, with the Met Office posting highs of 23.2C (73.8F) - beating the previous best of 22.7C (72.8F) set in 1996.
Six-time Paralympic gold medalist Weir won the men’s wheelchair race for an unprecedented eighth time.
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Farah said he would spend time with his family after not seeing his children due to a strict training regime in Ethiopia during the last three months.
He said: “It slowed down after halfway, from there you pay the price, you can’t go off that fast and come away with 2.02. It was a hard way to run the pace because we were set for the world record pace at the beginning.
“I know I can go at least 2.04, 2.05, in an even-paced race. Today it was the hardest way to run in any race. But at the end of the day you’ve got to fight like a man.”
Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya won the men’s race in 2:04.16, while compatriot Vivian Cheruiyot won the women’s race in 2:18.31.
Those not competing in the elite races received a royal send-off as the Queen pushed the event’s start button, sending thousands of competitors pounding 26.2 miles through the capital.
More than 40,000 marathon runners then proceeded to follow hot on their heels.
The event raised £61.5million for charity last year, a world record for an annual one-day fundraising event, making the total raised since 1981 around £890 million, organisers said.