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The London Marathon 2004

London 2004 produced an amazing duel in the Men’s race where Kenyans Evans Rutto and John Korir were locked in battle till the final few miles of the event.

Both Kenyan runners came into the race with large reputations to build on, Korir as the 2nd fastest man in history after his 2nd place in Berlin where he became the 2nd man under 2:05. Rutto had won Chicago in 2003, setting the fastest debut time in history with 2:05:50
Evans Rutto London 2004

The two did not disappoint with London being treated to a race of high quality. Sadly, the weather did not play its part and affected the overall performances on the day of the athletes. Rutto pulled away from Korir over the final miles to win in 2:06:18 ahead of his compatriot’s 2:06:48.

The result however could have seen both athletes not completing the course when they both came tumbling down at around 35Km. The wet slippery conditions may on this occasion helped as Rutto slid across the surface without much visual damage being caused. He did in the process bring down Korir, slightly, but amazingly after a few ‘gingerly’ taken strides they were back to business.

Rutto, to me, looked the worse for wear, having slid a number of metres before regaining his feet and what was good to witness was that Korir didn’t take advantage of the spill, in the same manner as in Tour De France in 2003, when Tour leader Lance Armstrong tumbled from his bike after a spectator got caught up with his handlebars.

London Marathon 2004

London Marathon 2004

Rutto has now added to his tally of wins from as many starts and certainly looks the part of a true marathon man in the mould of Khallid Khannouchi. His last few miles were not blistering by any means but the damage had been done by the tarmac and the weather, yet he was still able to post a magnificent 2:06.

Jaouad Gharib, Marocco, followed on from his Paris World Championships victory to secure 3rd place in a Personal Best time of 2:07:02. If he competes at the Athens Olympics, he will no longer be seen as a half marathon specialist trying to make it as a marathoner, he is now the genuine article.

In the Women’s race; the diminutive Kenyan, Margaret Okayo, ran a blisteringly quick fast pace in the early part of the marathon and was on target for a 2:18.

Then around 56 minutes into the race the consistent Rumanian, Constantina Tomescu-Dita, came galloping past and looked to be leaving Okayo in her wake, just before the halfway mark.

However, the tiny Kenyan, all 4″11, of her seemed to recover from her ‘bad patch’ and bounded past the hapless Dita. Judging from the apparel Dita wore the weather dampened her day, as she was unable to hold on to 2nd place with the Russian athlete, Lyudmila Petrova, besting her by 50 seconds in the end. Petrova 2:26:02 to Dita’s 2:26:52.

Okayo was able to build on her break to eventually win in a satisfactory time of 2:22:35, a time which would have been a course record before a certain Paula Radcliffe began blitzing the course record in 2002 and the World Record in 2003.

Roll on the Athens Olympics Marathon

1 E Rutto (Ken) 2hrs 06mins 18secs
2 S Korir (Ken) 2:06:48
3 J Gharib (Mor) 2:07:02
4 S Baldini (Ita) 2:08:37
5 T Tola (Eth) 2:09:07
6 B Zwierzhiewski (Fra) 2:09:35
7 A El Mouaziz (Mor) 2:09:42
8 L Troop (Aus) 2:09:58
9 J Yuda (Tan) 2:10:13
10 J Kadan (Ken) 2:11:30
11 J Mgolepus (Ken) 2:12:02
12 W Tiplagat (Ken) 2:12:04
13 S Bezebeh (Aus) 2:12:05
14 S Westcott (Aus) 2:13:30
15 J Brown (Sheffield) 2:13:39
16 D Robinson (Tipton) 2:13:53
17 N Pollias (Gre) 2:15:02
18 C Cariss (Bingley) 2:15:08
19 H Lobb (Bedford) 2:15:49
20 M Hudspith (Morpeth) 2:16:15
21 B Burns (Salford) 2:16:18
22 S Winton (Nzl) 2:17:40
23 J McFarlane (Thames Hares and Hounds) 2:17:53
24 M Green (Blackburn) 2:18:11
25 B Deacon (Can) 2:18:30

1 M Okayo (Ken) 2:22:25
2 L Petrova (Rus) 2:26:02
3 C Tomescu-Dita (Rom) 2:26:52
4 Albina Ivanova (Rus) 2:27:25
5 J Chepchumba (Ken) 2:28:01
6 S Zakharova (Rus) 2:28:10
7 S Yingjie (Chn) 2:28:32
8 Alena Ivanova (Rus) 2:28:48
9 S Demidenko (Rus) 2:33:06
10 T Morris (Valley Striders) 2:33:52
11 B Dagne (Belgrave) 2:34:45
12 J Gallagher (Aus) 2:34:48
13 J Lodge (Windsor) 2:34:49
14 M Lee (Milton Keynes) 2:35:51
15 S Harrison (Leamington) 2:38:20
16 M McCullum (unattached) 2:39:10
17 M Yamauchi (Harrow) 2:39:16
18 S Souma (Gre) 2:40:34
19 V Young (Irl) 2:41:32
20 S Partridge (Glasgow) 2:41:44
21 R Moore (Nzl) 2:43:50
22 L Hasell (Bristol) 2:44:06
23 P Gratsani (Gre) 2:44:35
24 M Moon (Nzl) 2:44:41
25 M Karimali (Gre) 2:46:01

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