Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

London Marathon 2014: Crowd favourite Mo Farah finishes in eighth place for course debut

Mo Farah of Great Britain starts the Virgin London Marathon
Mo Farah of Great Britain starts the Virgin London Marathon
Runners approach Waterloo Bridge during the Virgin Money London Marathon, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday April 13, 2014. See PA Story ATHLETICS London. Photo credit should read: Tim Ireland/PA Wire.
Runners on the Embankment during the Virgin Money London Marathon, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday April 13, 2014. See PA Story ATHLETICS London. Photo credit should read: Tim Ireland/PA Wire.
Jenni Falconer at the finish line of the Virgin Money London Marathon on the Mall, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday April 13, 2014. See PA Story ATHLETICS London. Photo credit should read: John Walton/PA Wire.
Lewis Moody at the finish line of the Virgin Money London Marathon on the Mall, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday April 13, 2014. See PA Story ATHLETICS London. Photo credit should read: John Walton/PA Wire.
Runners approach Hungerford Bridge along the Embankment during the Virgin Money London Marathon, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday April 13, 2014. See PA Story ATHLETICS London. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire.
A runner dressed in a wedding dress approaches Hungerford Bridge along the Embankment during the Virgin Money London Marathon, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday April 13, 2014. See PA Story ATHLETICS London. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire.
Runners approach Waterloo Bridge during the Virgin Money London Marathon, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday April 13, 2014. See PA Story ATHLETICS London. Photo credit should read: Tim Ireland/PA Wire.
Great Britain's Mo Farah after finishing in eighth place during the Virgin Money London Marathon on the Mall, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday April 13, 2014. See PA Story ATHLETICS London. Photo credit should read: John Walton/PA Wire.
Runners at the start of the Virgin Money London Marathon, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday April 13, 2014. See PA Story ATHLETICS London. Photo credit should read: Tim Ireland/PA Wire.
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: A runner proposes to his girlfriend as he passes Buckingham Palace during the Virgin London Marathon on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Miles Willis/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: A runner proposes to his girlfriend as he passes Buckingham Palace during the Virgin London Marathon on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Miles Willis/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: A runner carries on with the race after proposing to his girlfriend (L) as he passed Buckingham Palaceduring the Virgin London Marathon on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Miles Willis/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: A spectator is hugged after a runner proposed to her as he passed Buckingham Palace during the Virgin London Marathon on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Miles Willis/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: A runner takes a selfie after proposing to his girlfriend as he passes Buckingham Palace during the Virgin London Marathon on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Miles Willis/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: Runners cross Tower Bridge during the Virgin Money London Marathon on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: Runners pass The Tower of London during the Virgin Money London Marathon on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: Runners cross Tower Bridge during the Virgin Money London Marathon on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: A general view during the Virgin Money London Marathon on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: A child waves the Union Jack as the runners pass during the Virgin Money London Marathon on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: (EDITORS NOTE: This image was processed using digital filters) Runners cross Tower Bridge during the Virgin Money London Marathon on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: Fun Runners make their way through Canary Wharf during the Virgin Money London Marathon 2014 on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: Great Britain's Mo Farah runs alone as he leaves Canary Wharf during the Virgin Money London Marathon 2014 on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: Fun Runners make their way through Canary Wharf during the Virgin Money London Marathon 2014 on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: Fun Runners queue up to recieve treatment on their legs as they exit Canary Wharf during the Virgin Money London Marathon 2014 on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: Fun Runners make their way through Canary Wharf during the Virgin Money London Marathon 2014 on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: Fun Runners pass under Canary Wharf train station during the Virgin Money London Marathon 2014 on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: Fun Runners make their way through Canary Wharf during the Virgin Money London Marathon 2014 on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: Fun Runners make their way through Canary Wharf during the Virgin Money London Marathon 2014 on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: Great Britain's Mo Farah runs alone as he leaves Canary Wharf during the Virgin Money London Marathon 2014 on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: Race winner Wilson Kipsang of Kenya (R) with the runs with the main group as they leave Canary Wharf during the Virgin Money London Marathon 2014 on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: Womens race winner Edna Kiplagat of Kenya (L) battles with Florence Kiplagat as they leave Canary Wharf during the Virgin Money London Marathon 2014 on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: Fun Runners make their way through Canary Wharf during the Virgin Money London Marathon 2014 on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: Fun Runners make their way through Canary Wharf during the Virgin Money London Marathon 2014 on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: Laura Wright poses for photographs ahead of the Virgin Money London Marathon on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: Amy Guy poses for photographs ahead of the Virgin Money London Marathon on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: Tony Audenshaw poses for photographs ahead of the Virgin Money London Marathon on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: Hugo Taylor poses for photographs ahead of the Virgin Money London Marathon on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: Dominic West poses for photographs ahead of the Virgin Money London Marathon on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: Ed Balls poses for photographs ahead of the Virgin Money London Marathon on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: Michel Roux poses for photographs ahead of the Virgin Money London Marathon on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: Runners pass the Houses of Parliament during the Virgin Money London Marathon on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: Runners pass the Houses of Parliament during the Virgin Money London Marathon on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: Runners pass the Houses of Parliament during the Virgin Money London Marathon on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: Runners pass the Houses of Parliament during the Virgin Money London Marathon on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: Wilson Kipsang celebrates after winning the Men's Elite race at the Virgin London Marathon on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: Paralympic Gold medallist Richard Whitehead runs past the Houses of Parliament during the Virgin Money London Marathon on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: Richard Whitehead of Great Britain is applauded as he cross Tower Bridge during the Virgin Money London Marathon on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: Mo Farah of Great Britain (R) crosses Tower Bridge during the Virgin Money London Marathon on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: Mo Farah of Great Britain (L) and Emmanuel Mutai of Kenya run past the Houses of Parliament during the Virgin Money London Marathon on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: Mo Farah poses for the photographers after coming 8th at the Virgin London Marathon on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: Runners take part in the Virgin Money London Marathon on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: (L-R) Jenni Falconer, Sophie Raworth, Amy Willerton, Natalie Dormer and Michael Owen on the start line ahead of the Virgin Money London Marathon on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: Mo Farah poses for the photographers after coming 8th at the Virgin London Marathon on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 13: Mo Farah of Great Britain passes through Blackfriars tunnel during the Virgin London Marathon on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 13: Mo Farah of Great Britain prepares to start the Virgin London Marathon on April 13, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

Temperatures in the late-teens made for a balmy 34th London Marathon - as crowd favourite Mo Farah came home in eighth place for his course debut.

Unbroken sunshine and barely a breath of wind meant the 11C recorded at the start of the race in Greenwich at 10am felt considerably warmer, as racers began the arduous 26.2 mile course through the capital.

A huge cheer was reserved for Olympic hero Farah as announcers called out his name to the throngs of spectators as being among the ones to watch for.

But despite being installed among the bookies' favourites for the race, the 31-year-old failed to break into the podium positions,

Kenyan world record holder Wilson Kipsang took the Virgin Money London Marathon title in an unofficial time of 2hrs 04mins and 29secs, a course record, with Farah coming home almost four minutes back.

The Briton's time of 2hrs 08mins 21secs was outside Steve Jones' 29-year-old British record of 2:07:13 and could persuade him that his future remains on the track rather than the road.

Champion runner Haile Gebrselassie had been recruited as pace-setter in an effort to encourage a record time - but forecasters said the heat may have had an influence on the race.

Paul Mott, forecaster with MeteoGroup, said: "After a cool start temperatures have been rising sharply.

"It is likely to be about 16C or 17C by 2pm, so I think the runners will be feeling the heat.

"The ideal running temperatures would be a little cooler, so they will need to take on water.

"However, the weather will make it great for spectators."

Along every inch of the course, the several-deep crowd cheered raucously as friends, colleagues and even strangers - with their names emblazoned across their vests - pounded the road.

Celebrities taking part included former Liverpool and England striker Michael Owen, Game of Thrones actress Natalie Dormer, and Michelin-star chef Michel Roux Jr.

Labour politicians Ed Balls, Andy Burnham and Sadiq Khan also posed for "selfies" in their running vests in the moments before the race began.

And there was the customary collection of those undertaking the marathon in fancy dress - with plenty of comic book characters, runners in furry animal costumes and others in drag.

Another carried a fridge on his back.

Race starters Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins, who won the women's double sculls gold at the London 2012 Games, were two of 13 London Olympics gold medallists taking on the famous course, which ends at The Mall.

Kenya's Stanley Biwott was second in the men's race, with Ethiopian defending champion Tsegaye Kebede third.

Kenyan Edna Kiplagat won the women's elite race in 2:20:21.

 

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