Sir Mo Farah will again challenge reigning marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge in Sunday’s London marathon.
Kenyan Kipchoge won last year’s race through the capital in two hours, four minutes and 17 seconds, with Britain’s most decorated Olympic track athlete Farah finishing more than two minutes adrift in third place.
Here, Press Association Sport looks at five of the most memorable races in the event’s 39-year history.
29 March 1981
The first ever elite men’s race ran at the London Marathon was in fact a dead heat. American Dick Beardsley and Norwegian Inge Simonsen held hands as they crossed the line in 2:11.48. Speaking in 2001, Beardsley explained why they made the gesture, with Simonsen saying: “It was a big deal for both of us because neither one of us had won a marathon before.” British Olympian Trevor Wright finished third over a minute behind the pair.
April 13, 2003
Paula Radcliffe set the women’s marathon world record in a time of 2:15.25 which has since been dubbed as unbeatable. The feat was all the more impressive as Radcliffe sliced almost two minutes off her own world record of 2:17.18 set the previous year in Chicago. Sixteen years on and the now 45-year-old’s mark still stands.
April 17, 2005
This race is best remembered again for the exploits of Radcliffe, although not for the time in which she completed the race. After suffering a bout of stomach cramps around the 20-mile mark, Radcliffe decided to relieve herself in the shadow of a drinks station in a bid to get her race back on track. It worked, and the Briton set a then world record of 2:17.42.
25 April 2010
This marathon is notable for its fallout rather than the race itself. Winner Liliya Shobukhova and runner-up Inga Abitova were both stripped of their medals due to doping violations. Abitova was found to have abnormal blood levels in 2012 and had all results from 2009 onwards annulled. Shobukhova’s results from October 2009 were quashed in 2013 due to abnormalities in her biological passport. She was also made to pay back her London marathon prize money for 2010 and the following year. Aselefech Mergia, who originally finished third, was subsequently handed the 2010 title.
22 April 2018
In the hottest ever London Marathon David Weir held on in a sprint finish to win his eighth title in the men’s wheelchair race. The then 38-year-old held off the challenges of Marcel Hung of Switzerland and Daniel Romanchuk of America in soaring temperatures which hit highs of 24 degrees Celsius at St James’ Park. It was Weir’s 19th London marathon, and by far his closest victory.
24 April 2016
The diminutive Kenyan Kipchoge won his second of three London Marathons in 2016 and set a course record in the process. His time of 2:03.05 beat the record set by Wilson Kipsang three years earlier and was also the third-fastest time in men’s marathon history. The world record holder and 2016 Olympic Champion has since added another London Marathon to his lengthy resume and will attempt to win his fourth title this weekend.