Today’s marathon around the British capital has been touted as one of the most eagerly anticipated running events of the coronavirus-hit year. The much-anticipated 2020 London Marathon, which was rescheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic, is set for today (Sunday, October 4). It is the 40th edition but unlike past marathons, this one is restricted to elite athletes.
Deprived of the Olympic Games and a host of other top track meets, the 42.2km (26-mile) circuit around London had been set up as a battle royal between two running legends: Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele and Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge. Britain’s multi-medalled Mo Farah was even brought in to act as a pacemaker. But Bekele withdrew from today’s marathon with a calf injury, robbing an athletics-starved audience of a showdown with world record holder Kipchoge. Bekele, who set a personal best of 2:01:41 in the Berlin Marathon last year, would have pitched himself against Kipchoge. The current men’s marathon world record is 2:01:39 (set in the Berlin Marathon by Kenyan Kipchoge on September 16, 2018). The women’s world record is 2:14:04 (set by Kenyan Brigid Kosgei in the Chicago Marathon in 2019).