KENYAN Emmanuel Mutai set a new course record as he and compatriot Mary Keitany scorched the capital’s streets in the London Marathon.
Mutai, last year’s runner-up, trimmed 30 seconds off the previous best time to win the men’s race in two hours, four minutes and 40 seconds – just over a minute quicker than fellow countrymen Martin Lel and Patrick Makau.
Rising star Keitany, meanwhile, gave absent world record holder Paula Radcliffe food for thought by taking the spoils in the women’s race in 2:19:19, edging out last year’s winner Liliya Shobukhova.
Channel Islander Lee Merrien was the fastest British man in 14th place with a time of 2:14:27, while marathon debutant Jo Pavey came home 19th in the women’s race in 2:28:24 – fast enough to qualify for this summer’s World Championship in Korea and London 2012.
Mutai, 26, who was also second in New York last year and took silver in the 2009 world championships, said: “My dreams have come true because I had it in my mind that one day I would win one of the five major marathons.”
Keitany, 29, became the first woman to run a half-marathon in less than 66 minutes earlier this year and said: “I think I surprised myself because I was running with the champion from last year and I was a bit scared. But then I started to believe in myself that I could do it and I feel very happy.”
Pavey, 37, could find herself selected in the Great Britain marathon team for the World Championship when it is named today, and admitted: “I might have to make some decisions in the next 24 hours.”
Some 35,000 runners took part in the race to raise money for charity, including former Olympic rowers Matthew Pinsent and James Cracknell and ex-400m pair Iwan Thomas and Jamie Baulch.