Athletics

Athletics Stats: African runners who have won the men’s race in London Marathon

Every year, the United Kingdom’s capital hosts the London Marathon. Following the Great North Run, it is the second-largest road race in the United Kingdom. Olympic medalists in the steeplechase Chris Brasher and John Disley came up with the idea for the 1981 inaugural race, which was modeled after the New York City Marathon. Their ambition was to promote the finest of London through the marathon, and it was immediately a hit, with over 22,000 participants applying for the inaugural race. Since then, the London Marathon has grown to be a renowned competition in the sports world.

The 1981 London Marathon had 6,255 finishers, with Dick Beardsley and Inge Simonsen crossing the finish line hand-in-hand. The next year, 1982, saw the debut of male and female wheelchair races, which were won by Gordon Perry and Denise Smith, respectively. Six world records have been smashed at the London Marathon, with Khalid Khannouchi of the United States being the only male to break a world record with a timing of 2:05:38 in 2002. 

The Record Holders of the London Marathon

The London Marathon has seen some incredible performances over the years, with several course records being established in the process. Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya holds the men’s course record, having completed the marathon in a remarkable 2:02:37 in 2019. Paula Radcliffe of the United Kingdom still holds the women’s course record with a time of 2:15:25, which was set back in 2005. Marcel Hug of Switzerland set the men’s wheelchair race course record with a timing of 1:26:27 in 2022, while Manuela Schär, another Swiss athlete, broke the women’s wheelchair course record with a time of 1:39:52 in the same year.

Read More-Athletes who are record-holders in the six World Marathon Majors

African runners who have won the men’s elite race in the London Marathon

Douglas Wakiihuri is the first athlete from an African country to win the London Marathon in 1989. The marathon witnessed another African winner after almost ten years when Abdelkader El Mouaziz of Morocco won the men’s elite race with a timing of 2:07:57. Post the year 2000, the marathon has seen 20 men’s runners from Africa, claiming the title. Notably, all the winners are from Kenya and Ethiopia only.

With just a few days remaining for one of the World Marathon Majors to commence, the London Marathon 2023 might also witness an African winner once again. The defending champion Amos Kipruto (Kenya), Kenenisa Bekele (Ethiopia), and Kelvin Kiptum (Kenya) are the athletes who are a few of the favorites in the 2023 edition in the men’s elite field. However, only time will tell who emerges as the best athlete. For now, let’s take a look at the African runners who have previously won the men’s elite race in the London Marathon.

YearAthleteNationTiming
1989Douglas WakiihuriKenya2:09:03
1999Abdelkader El MouazizMorocco2:07:57
2003Gezahegne AberaEthiopia2:07:56
2004Evans RuttoKenya2:06:18
2005Martin LelKenya2:07:35
2006Felix LimoKenya2:06:39
2007Martin LelKenya2:07:41
2008Martin LelKenya2:05:15
2009Samuel WanjiruKenya2:05:10
2010Tsegaye KebedeEthiopia2:05:19
2011Emmanuel Kipchirchir MutaiKenya2:04:40
2012Wilson Kipsang KiprotichKenya2:04:44
2013Tsegaye KebedeEthiopia2:06:04
2014Wilson Kipsang KiprotichKenya2:04:29
2015Eliud KipchogeKenya2:04:42
2016Eliud KipchogeKenya2:03:05
2017Daniel WanjiruKenya2:05:48
2018Eliud KipchogeKenya2:04:17
2019Eliud KipchogeKenya2:02:37
2020Shura Kitata TolaEthiopia2:05:58
2021Sisay LemmaEthiopia2:04:01
2022Amos KiprutoKenya2:04:39

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