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London Marathon Recap

Breaking down Sunday's marathon

Before the fall.
Before the fall.
Stephen Pond/Getty Images

Boston and London always come in such a quick line that it often feels like London snuck up on us. For those who missed the race, they missed an absolute classic. Let's break down the three biggest story lines.

8 seconds of summer

Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya was 8 seconds away from a world record in the men's marathon. He won the race in a time of 2:03:05, holding off Stanley Biwott who came in second with a time of 2:03:51. Kipchonge was on pace to break the record at the halfway mark, hitting 13.1 in 1:01:24. The pack that he ran in during the first half of the race kept him consistently faster then Dennis Kimetto was when he set the record, and he had a considerable time gap at the 25k split. What separated Sunday's race from the 2014 Berlin Marathon is that Kimetto dropped the hammer right after the 30k mark, and Kipchoge faded. Berlin is known for setting the world record, so having the record come close to falling at London could set us up for an exciting London Marathon in 2017.

Legends of the Fall?

Last month, Geoffrey Kipsang Kamworer won the World Half Marathon Championship in Cardiff after stumbling just after the race started. He recovered well and went on to win the race with a time of 59:10. On Sunday, Jemima Sumgong repeated that performance. At the start of the race, Sumgong was clipped from behind and fell along with Mary Keitany and Aselefech Mergia. Sumgong made up for the fall with a strong race where she battled with Ethiopia's Tigist Tufa. Sumgong broke her opponent with a 5:16 25th mile and Tufa was never able to make a comeback. While we do not advocate the "fall at the start" race strategy here at Stride Nation, we are impressed with Sumgong's performance and it will be interesting to see how she fares this summer.

And Onto Hall

Sara Hall saw her Olympic Marathon dreams fall short in February, so she decided to have some fun in London. Hall shocked the running community by announcing that she would run London just two months after competing in the US Olympic Marathon Trials. The gamble paid off for Hall, who placed 12th overall and set a PR with a time of 2:30:06. Hall's pace slipped in the last 10k of the race, but overall ran a strong race and was the highest placing American. Next up for Hall will be the track Olympic Trials, where she will try to qualify for the Rio Olympics.