Posted by: Joe English | April 13, 2008

Live London Marathon Coverage update part 3

This is the continuing play by play with running coach Joe English as the race unfolds at the London Marathon. Make sure to hit the refresh button and check back frequently as the race unfolds.

[Be sure to hit refresh to get the latest play-by-play]

We’re just about 1:25:00 through the men’s race now. The lead pack has dwindled. The pace runners are gone. The only men left up front are all Kenyans now. There’s Lel, Wanjiru and Mutai in the lead pack. The last two miles went through in 4:39 and 4:38, which is miles 16 and 17. The leaders are still flying, competing for spots on the Kenyan Olympic team.

It has started raining lightly out on the course, keeping the temperatures cool.

With 2KM to go, Mikitenko has pulled ahead. Zakharova is in second place 8 seconds back. Wami has really fallen off the pace and is 21 seconds back. I’m wondering if that fall at the aid station has hurt Wami. In any case, Mikitenko looks to be heading for the solo win now. Kosgei is in 4th and Petrova in fifth. Mikitenko’s spilt at 40KM was 2:17:07.

Martin Lel just set an African all-time record at 30KM. The pace is still blistering at the front. We’ll be back to that in a minute, but first the women are just finishing.

The rain is really coming down now.

Wami is rubbing her hip. I think she’s hurt.

Irena Mikitenko of Germany wins
Irena Mikitenko of Germany is really pushing hard coming toward the finish. She looks great. This will be her first victory and is her second marathon. She’s in an all out sprint. It looks like her time is going to be 2:24:12 to take the win. What a surprise victory.

Zacharova comes in second at 2:24:38. Wami is going to be third in 2:25:35. Kosgei comes in at 2:26:30.

2:27:43 we see three more women:

Liz Yelling just finished as the first British athlete in 2:28:33. I think she was seventh. That’s a great finish for her. Hayley came in at about 2:29:25 (or so). So Yelling should be joining the British Olympic Marathon squad along with the great Paula Radcliffe

Back out to the men
1:43:54 was Sammy Wanjiru’s leading split at 35KM. There are just four men at the front. Wanjiru, Lel, Goumri and Merga. Apparently, while we were watching the women finish, Ryan Hall re-grouped with the leaders and then they picked up the pace, hoping to drop him. Mutai and Ryan Hall are about 20 seconds behind the leaders. Felix Limo is 3:00 back. Hendrick Ramaala is 3:06 back. World Champion Luke Kibet is 4:19 back and not a factor. Dan Robinson is 6:00 back as the first British athlete and I just saw him pass Olympic Champion Stefano Baldini.

It looks like it’s pouring out there right now. The runners are looking very wet.

Mile 24 just split at 4:43. The slow mile was mile 21 at 5:04 — that’s when Hall pulled himself back into the pack. But the last few miles have been much quicker. We’re getting right into the last miles here. Mera is off the back. It’s just Goumri, Lel and Wanjiru at the front.

Let’s handicap this for you. Lel is working to repeat as champion in the race. He beat Goumri in both London and New York last year. Wanjiru ran 2:06:39 in his debut in December. All three are about 20 seconds ahead of the course record. If I had to call this right now, I’d put my money on Lel’s closing speed. But Wanjiru looks so strong. We may see a move here in the next minute or two. If not, I’d bet Lel takes the advantage — but I’d love to see Wanjiru win this.

The pace has cooled off a bit. We’re going to be close to world record pace, maybe within a minute of it. Mile 21 would be the mile when we probably tipped off that pace. Haile ran 1:58:07 for 40KM in Berlin when he set the world record and the lead men are behind that pace now. The three leaders were at 1:58:53 through 40KM. We have three guys heading to break 2:06 here. That’s pretty incredible. We’ve never seen three men break 2:06 in a race.

Lel and Wanjiru seem to have gapped Goumri by maybe a few feet. I think this is a two man race now.

Looking at the arms, I think Lel looks the stronger of the two.

Lel just took off with 200M. He is such a fast sprinter. No one seems to be able to touch him in these sprint finishes. He’s going to win it in a new course record. WOW! That’s his third London Marathon victory.

Martin Lel wins in 2:05:15 (course record). Sammy Wanjiru comes in second in 2:05:23. Goumri is third in 2:05:29, with Mutai fourth in 2:06:14. Ryan Hall comes in just behind him in fifth in 2:06:17.

What a great race. I’ll be back with a race summary in a few minutes.

Coach Joe English, Portland Oregon, USA
Running Advice and News



  1. […] Live London Marathon Coverage update part 2 Posted on April 13, 2008 by coachjoeenglish This is the continuing play by play with running coach Joe English as the race unfolds at the London Marathon. The play-by-play continues: click here. […]

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