Greetings from London where a record 40,000 runners took part in this year’s London Marathon and our Kenyan counterparts gave an impressive performance winning both the women’s and men’s race.  The race was an African affair in terms of winning with Kenyans and Ethiopians taking the top spots.

A record 40,000 runners took part in this year’s London Marathon and our Kenyan counterparts gave an impressive performance.  The race could as well been an African affair in term of winning with Kenyans and Ethiopians taking the top spots. We say a hearty congratulations to our fellow brothers and sisters from the continent.

35-year-old Mary Keitany displayed incredible frontrunning winning her third London marathon title and also setting the fastest “women only” time in history. Daniel Wanjuri (24) made sure it was a Kenyan one-two by fending of  Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele the 5,000m and 10,000m world record holder to win. Bekele, a favourite to win this race was targeting to set world record time.

File Photo: Kenenisa Bekele honoured after 10000m run in Berlin (2009)

Keitany broke the women’s only world finishing in a time of 2 hours 17 minutes 01 seconds beating England’s Paula Radcliffe previous best by 41 seconds. Radcliffe however still holds the overall women’s record of 2:15.25, which she set in a mixed gender race at the London Marathon in 2003 when she used male runners to help set the pace. Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia was the runner-up in the women’s race, clocking a time of 2:17:56. The International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) recognises two marathon world records for women, one for ‘mixed gender’ and the other for ‘women only’.

Africans almost always ensure stardom in marathons at the global stage. In 2011 Londoners witnessed swashbuckling performance by Kenyan marathon runners. Kenyan athletes finished in the top three places in the men’s race and also first and third in the women’s race. Of 42 elite marathon races in 2010, 38 were won by Kenyan men and the other four by Ethiopians.  Kenyans continue to win  prizes in virtually all of the big races , from Paris to Rotterdam, London and Dubai.The list has to be longer to show significant numbers of those from outside East Africa.

We congratulate our fellow brothers and sisters.