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

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 - (Copyright PA Wire)
13:18pm, Sun 04 Oct 2020
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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 - (Copyright PA Wire)
Competitors in action during the elite women’s race - (Copyright PA Wire)
A steward sweeps the course - (Copyright PA Wire)
Cardboard cut-outs stood in for the usual crowds lining the marathon route - among them former competitors and the Queen - (Copyright PA Wire)
Passing Horse Guards Parade - (Copyright PA Wire)
Great Britain’s Stephanie Twell was forced to retire injured - (Copyright PA Wire)
Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei won the elite women’s race - (Copyright PA Wire)
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 - (Copyright PA Wire)

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 - (Copyright PA Wire)
Athletes make their way past Horse Guards Parade - (Copyright PA Wire)
Sir Mo Farah - (Copyright PA Wire)
Kenya’s Benson Kipruto in action - (Copyright PA Wire)
Ben Connor - (Copyright PA Wire)
Ben Connor - (Copyright PA Wire)
Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata wins the elite men’s race - (Copyright PA Wire)
Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata (centre) celebrates victory alongside second-placed Vincent Kipchumba of Kenya (right) and third-placed Sisay Lemma of Ethiopia - (Copyright PA Wire)

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 - (Copyright PA Wire)
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 - (Copyright PA Wire)
Countess of Wessex - (Copyright PA Wire)
Meanwhile in South Shields, Colin Burgin-Plews, 52, undertook his fifth marathon in his home town - (Copyright PA Wire)
London Marathon 2020 - (Copyright PA Wire)
Ken Jones, 87, takes part in the virtual London Marathon in his home town of Strabane, west Tyrone - (Copyright PA Wire)

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