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Kosgei wins London Marathon, Hall sprints to legendary second-place finish

Sara Hall ran one of the most impressive marathons in a long time, clinching second place in the final 200m of the race

Sunday’s London Marathon had poor weather and no spectators, but great and gritty results. After months without a race, the women were very impressive over the 19.6 laps of St. James Park. Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei ran a very strong 2:18:58 to take the win, but the story of the day was Sara Hall‘s amazing sprint finish. After running a more conservative race, Hall overtook the reigning world champion, Ruth Chepngetich in the final 200m of the race, barreling down the home stretch with seconds to spare. Hall finished in a new personal best of 2:22:01. Chepngetich was third in 2:22:05. 

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The top 10 women in the race were all inside 2:28:30

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Kosgei and Chepngetich ran together for the first 32K of the race, starting on a remarkably fast pace (ahead of the women’s-only world record time of 2:17:01) but slowed at the halfway point. The half-marathon split was a 1:08:12 for Chepngetich and 1:08:13 for Kosgei. Kosgei sat roughly one pace behind Chepngetich through 32K, making Chepngetich set the pace, but then she dropped the hammer and broke away on her own. 

From 32K, Kosgei picked up the pace, but not enough to clear Mary Keitany‘s world record. 

The American contingent also had a fabulous day. Hall ran a 1:10:27 half-marathon, only two minutes off her personal best, and then closed in one of the best finishes in marathon history. Just behind her was Molly Seidel, who came through halfway in 1:12:26 in her second marathon ever. Seidel finished in a massive personal best of 2:25:13 for sixth place.

These two women couldn’t have had more different experiences at the U.S. Olympic Trials in February. Seidel had the day of her life, making her first Olympics in her first-ever marathon, and Hall dropped out. However, today, Hall redeemed herself and Seidel proved there was nothing flukey about her February performance.

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Up next is the men’s race, which gets underway at 5:15 a.m. ET. Both Cam Levins and Tristan Woodfine will vie for their spots on the Canadian Olympic team.