As expected, the Africans dominated the leading places among the main elite races at this year's London Marathon. However, the eventual winners in the men's and women's races were not those names that many had expected to take the titles. The men's race winner from last year, Kenya's Wilson Kipsang was this time relegated to the runner-up position, as his compatriot Eliud Kipchoge had just too much firepower in the closing stages. The Kenyan 'big four' in the women's race were all surprised by the Ethiopian Tigist Tufa, as she broke clear of the two-time London champion Mary Keitany over the last few miles for a convincing victory.

With a record number of over 38,000 competitors starting the mass race, for many the achievement of completing the marathon course and raising millions of pounds for charity was their main ambition. Up at the business end of the races though, the finely tuned elite athletes had no time to enjoy the London scenery as their reputations were on the line. The men's race turned into a close battle between two Kenyan athletes as they entered the final mile, with world record holder Dennis Kimetto not able to stay with them. Instead it was left to 2003 world champion over the 5,000m Kipchoge and reigning London champion Kipsang to battle it out. Kipchoge showed his greater track pedigree to move clear for the victory by 5 seconds from Kipsang in 2:04:42.

Kimetto hung on to complete a Kenyan clean sweep of the medal places. With Mo Farah choosing not to race London this year, in his absence first runner home for Britain was Scott Overall in 2hr 13min 12sec.

The women's race had been billed as a likely battle between the leading Kenyans, with past winners, a runner-up and World Champions among them.

Yet Mary Keitany, Edna Kiplagat, Florence Kiplagat and Priscah Jeptoo all failed to cope with the pace of Tufa and her Ethiopian compatriot, Tirfi Tsegaye when they broke away with just three miles remaining. Tufa then shook Tsegaye off in the closing stages to come home a commanding winner, as Keitany rallied to edge the second Ethiopian into the bronze position.

Tufa's winning time of 2:23:22 was almost eight minutes slower than Paula Radcliffe's world record time, set back on the same course in 2003. First Britain home this year was Sonia Samuels, recording a time of 2:31:45 back in 16th place.

Britain's David Weir was narrowly denied a seventh title in the men's wheelchair race, as the better finish of Joshua George from America gave him a one second advantage at the line. Pre-race favourite Marcel Hug from Switzerland was forced to retire with a puncture. In the women's equivalent race, American Tatyana McFadden was a class apart as she took her third title in a row in London and broke her own course record. Her time of 1hr 41mins 14secs was almost four minutes faster than she had recorded previously in London. Britain's Shelly Woods had to drop out during the race.