The men’s marathon at the Olympics had plenty of exciting moments both at the front of the pack and well after the medallists finished. Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge won his first Olympic title on Sunday and Galen Rupp won bronze in just his second-ever marathon.
The men’s marathon concluded the athletics portion of the Olympic Games in Rio. The closing ceremony will take place tonight when athletes parade into the Olympic stadium one final time to end the quadrennial event.
Before that happens, it’s time to take a look back at some of the memorable and exciting moments from this morning’s event.
Spectator on a bike catches Kipchoge’s hat
— Travis Miller (@ttmill) August 21, 2016
One lucky spectator biking alongside the marathon course showed some good hand-eye coordination by catching Eliud Kipchoge’s hat. The fan will want to keep that souvenir as Kipchoge went on to win Kenya’s second-ever gold medal in the men’s marathon at the Olympics.
Galen Rupp switches out his hat at each water station
— Dan Tallarico (@woozle) August 21, 2016
The Nike Oregon Project athletes tend to have some unusual tactics in major races and that remained the case on Sunday in the marathon. Galen Rupp, who won a bronze medal, wore a hat throughout the majority of the race. Just not the same one.
What's up with the hat exchanges for Galen Rupp on the marathon course?
They each had an ice pouch in them to cool him off. #Rio2016
— Chris Chavez (@ChrisChavezSI) August 21, 2016
At many of the water stations, Rupp switched out a wet hat for a fresh one as conditions were rainy in Rio. He ditched the hat all together at the end of the race as he won bronze, his second career Olympic medal. Sunday was just his second-ever marathon. Past tactics in races include Rupp wearing a ripped shirt at the U.S. Olympic Trials to minimize the amount of fabric on his singlet.
Meb falls at the finish line, proceeds to do three pushups and then finishes
American Meb Keflezighi, the 2004 Olympic silver medallist, didn’t have a great day on the race course finishing in 33rd. Just as he was about to cross the finish line, he slipped and fell to the ground. He was still in good spirits though and did three pushups before going on to finish. Three pushups at any point of a run sounds tough enough let alone at the end of a marathon.
— Josh Jordan (@joshphotogr4phy) August 21, 2016
Federico Bruno side shuffles his way to the finish
Federico Bruno of Argentina finished the marathon in an unconventional way on Sunday by side shuffling the final portion of the race. He did this because of cramps in his legs so he decided to switch up his gait by side shuffling to the finish. The Argentinian still ran 2:40:05.
— Tami Mask (@MaskTami) August 21, 2016
Side shuffling his way to the finish line pic.twitter.com/ZGprXDcGhZ
— CanadianRunning (@CanadianRunning) August 21, 2016
Runner who unknowingly qualified for the Olympic marathon finishes
Michael Kalomiris of Greece unknowingly qualified for the Olympic marathon in 2015 by placing well at an IAAF Gold Label event. He only found out he qualified when he looked up who was on Greece’s marathon team heading to the Olympics. He ran 2:37:03 to finish 132nd on Sunday. See his full backstory here.
Canadian Eric Gillis cracks the top-10, runs the race of his life
— CBC Olympics (@CBCOlympics) August 21, 2016
Lead runners run a 14:25 5K between 30-35K of the marathon
That last 5km split at 2:01:40 marathon pace, so you know why it's cracked everyone. And now Lilesa too. Kipchoge is gone, Lilesa chasing!
— Ross Tucker (@Scienceofsport) August 21, 2016
The top three runners between 30-35K ran a 14:25 split for the 5K, which translates to 2:01:45 marathon pace if held throughout the course of 42.195K. The world record is 2:02:57.
That surge in pace by Kipchoge broke the race wide open as runners began to fade including a number of notable runners being forced to drop out. The two other Kenyans in the race, Wesley Korir and Stanley Biwott, did not finish the race.