Last updated 1 year ago | By Clinton Nyabuto
It is barely less than four days for the world to witness the finest sprinters across the globe battle it out in the 39th edition of the London Marathon to be staged in the United Kingdom on Sunday, April 28.
Founded on March 29, 1981, the London Marathon is perhaps one of the biggest events in the global running calendar as it forms one of the top six marathons that complete the World Marathon Majors.
In 2010, Virgin Money took over the sponsorship of the London Marathon from Flora after signing a five-year £17m sponsorship deal in two-years prior.
On April 22, 2013, the London Marathon renewed its sponsorship deal with Virgin Money for a further five years, changing its name to Virgin Money London Marathon.
The 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon will attract over 42,000 runners who will participate in the 42km race through the UK capital battling for the £39,000 winner’s prize.
Thousands of runners across the world stretch their limbs in the marathon yearly with last year’s edition being the biggest in history with over 40,000 runners making it to the finish line.
Kenyan athletes have been triumphant in this prestigious race over the years with a total of 14 male and 10 female athletes snatching victory for Kenya in the men and women races respectively.
In the men’s race, Kenyan athletes have dominated since 2004 except in 2010 when Kenya’s Emmanuel Mutai could not keep up with Ethiopian contender Tsegaye Kebede who clocked 02:05:19 to win the race.
In the women’s race, Kenyan athletes have conquered the race since 2011 although in 2015 Mary Keitany saw Ethiopia’s Tigist Tufa finish the race 18 seconds ahead of her - the Ethiopian clocking 02:23:22.
However, it was a Kenyan masterpiece in 2015 in the men’s race as Eliud Kipchoge, Wilson Kipsang, Dennis Kimetto and Stanley Biwott finished in first, second, third and fourth place respectively.
Eliud Kipchoge clocked 02:04:17 to win last year’s race in the men’s as his compatriot Vivian Cheruiyot made it in 02:18:31 to snatch victory in the women’s race.
Abel Kirui, Bedan Karoki, and Lawrence Cherono will form the Kenyan pack in the men’s race after they finished fourth, fifth and seventh last year clocking 02:07:07, 02:08:34 and 02:09:25 respectively.
Brigid Kosgei, Gladys Cherono and Mary Keitany will contend for Kenya in the women’s race after clocking 02:20:13, 02:24:10 and 02:24:27 to finish second, fourth and fifth respectively in the last year. Marathon.
Defending champions Kipchoge and Cheruiyot are hopeful to hit the ground running in the 2019 London Marathon as they seek to retain their titles.