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Kenyan Runners Triumph In London Marathon

Kenyans Mary Keitany and Wilson Kipsang have won the 2012 women’s and men’s London Marathon, as thousands of other runners race across the capital.

Long distance runner Keitany retained her title, winning the women’s race in two hours, 18 minutes and 37 seconds – a new personal best and Kenyan record.

She finished over a minute ahead of world champion Edna Kiplagat.

World silver medallist Priscah Jeptoo was 24 seconds further behind in third.

Wilson Kipsang won the men’s title on his first attempt in two hours, four minutes and 44 seconds.

The reigning Frankfurt Marathon champion beat Martin Lel into second place – but came short of Emmanuel Mutai’s record set last year by just four seconds.

Ethiopia’s Tsegaye Kebede, the 2010 London Marathon winner, finished third.

Briton Shelly Woods won the women’s section of the London Virgin Wheelchair Marathon, coming in at one hour, 49 minutes and 10 seconds.

Fellow Brit, David Weir won the men’s section of the wheelchair marathon in just one hour, 32 minutes and 25 seconds.

Around 37,500 fun runners, amateur athletes, celebrities, politicians and the sporting elite set off for 32nd London Marathon, which started in Greenwich.

Earlier, Prince Harry met volunteers sorting through thousands of bags containing the fun runners’ belongings before they reached the finish line.

He posed for photographs with some of the volunteers, including Pauline Michael and Barbara Jones, who are members of Barnet and District Athletics Club.

Ms Jones said: “We were shocked to see him, but it was a real privilege.

“He asked whether we had family and friends running and what time we’d arrived.

Prince Harry later joked that his brother and sister-in-law would be competing in next year’s race.

Matthew Loddy, spoke to Sky News after completing the marathon – his 100th marathon race in 100 days.

The 46-year-old, who began his journey in Lagos, Portugal, said he prepared for the challenge by just “concentrating on the next day, the next marathon and the next kilometre”.

David Stone beat six competitors to break the Guinness world record for fastest marathon dressed as a book character.

The 42-year-old from Exmouth, in Devon, dressed as Count Dracula and completed his run in two hours 42 minutes, smashing the previous record of three hours and two minutes.

He is already a record holder after dressing as Superman last year to break the record for fastest marathon dressed as a superhero.

Other familiar faces taking part were shadow chancellor Ed Balls, chef Gordon Ramsay, model Nell McAndrew and newsreader Sophie Raworth.

Former I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here star Ms McAndrew broke her target three-hour barrier, completing her sixth London Marathon in two hours and 54 minutes.

She said: “It’s amazing, I think it won’t really sink in until the morning when I wake up and I’ve recovered. It’s unbelievable.”

James Cracknell was the only other celebrity to break the three hour mark, finishing in two hours, 59 minutes and one second.

The double Olympic gold medal winner said that the atmosphere on the course was
a good omen for the Olympics.

“It’s amazing and it’s unlike running. It’s an indicator of what [the Olympics] will be like”, he said.

A soldier who was blinded by an explosion in Afghanistan ran alongside an actor from Downton Abbey to raise money for Blind Veterans UK.

Lance Bombardier Rob Long said he would required “extreme concentration” to complete the course with Lachlan Nieboer, who played a blinded soldier in the latest series of the TV drama.

There were around 100 runners trying to break a series of bizarre marathon-related world records.

Sasha Kenney, 34, hoped to raise over £2,000 for the NSPCC in her bid to break the six-hour mark for quickest runner hula hooping.

“Someone said to me it couldn’t be done,” said Ms Kenney, a fitness instructor from Wrexham, North Wales.

“I see a lot of that in my profession so I wanted to prove them wrong.”

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