Men's elite race: Kitata claims surprise win as Kipchoge defeated for first time in 7 years - Women's Running

Men’s elite race: Kitata claims surprise win as Kipchoge defeated for first time in 7 years

Author: Holly Taylor

Read Time:   |  October 4, 2020

All the highlights of a race nobody could have predicted...

We were never expecting the hotly-anticipated face off between Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele and Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge to play out exactly as expected, due to the completely unpredictable nature of the year 2020. But when Bekele pulled out of the men’s elite London Marathon race with a calf injury just days ago, the odds were most definitely in Kipchoge’s favour.

In a strange race that started slowly, a clear pack of frontrunners emerged that remained 10-strong throughout the majority of the race. It wasn’t until the last few laps that a smaller group that included today’s winner, Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata, began to break away, leaving Kipchoge in their wake and unable to pick up enough speed to challenge any of the leaders.

Kipchoge came in 8th place, a minute behind the winners, defeated for the first time since 2013 with one of his slower times: 2:06:49. He told the BBC that he had a problem with his right ear being blocked throughout the race, and that he wasn’t sure what happened.

Kitata crossed the finish line with 2:05:42 in an exciting sprint finish that saw him just snatch a win from Vincent Kipchumba, who was a second behind. Sisay Lemma came in three seconds behind Kipchumba, after all three athletes managed to form and maintain a strong leading pack throughout.

The British race was an event in itself, with Ben Connor and Jonny Mellor engaging in an epic battle that saw Mellor come out on top, crossing the line in 2:10:06. Conner followed shortly afterwards, looking emotional and exhausted, comforted by Mellor.

Image courtesy of London Marathon Events

Written by

Holly Taylor

Holly Taylor

Holly Taylor is the digital editor of Women’s Running and co-host of the Women’s Running podcast, where she shares her running journey as well as the inspiring stories of women runners all over the country. She’s never been the sporty type, but running is the first time she’s felt real joy in getting active. She loves talking about running with a community of inclusive and supportive runners, and Women's Running is the perfect space for this. She's currently aiming for a half marathon PB!

Meet the team

We use cookies to give you a better experience on By continuing to use our site, you are agreeing to the use of cookies as set in our Cookie Policy.

OK, got it