Sifan Hassan was a surprise winner of the TCS London Marathon on her debut over the distance.
The Ethiopian-born Dutch athlete’s victory was all the more remarkable because she fell way off the pace, clutching her hip, around the 15-mile mark.
But Hassan, who is the 5,000 and 10,000 metres Olympic champion, reeled in the leaders with three miles to go.
The 30-year-old then survived making a mess of collecting a drink from a water station, but recovered again and even offered rival Yalemzerf Yehualaw, last year’s winner, a swig from her bottle.
Being a track athlete gave Hassan a distinct advantage in a sprint finish and she pulled away from Alemu Megertu and Peres Jepchirchir down The Mall, coming home in two hours 18 minutes and 33 seconds.
Former Olympic middle-distance runner Steve Cram was gobsmacked at Hassan’s triumph.
“Sifan Hassan has done something that nobody could ever have expected,” he said on BBC One.
“She was struggling, she was grabbing her hip, stopping to stretch it off.
“She would have been dreaming of just finishing. She can hardly believe it, this might just be the best success of her life.”
Kenyan Kelvin Kiptum won the men’s race in the second fastest marathon in history.
The 23-year-old broke the course record with an incredible time of 2:01.27.
Kiptum tired towards the end and missed out on Eliud Kipchoge’s world record by 18 seconds.
The first British man home was not Sir Mo Farah, but Yorkshire’s Emile Cairess, who finished a creditable sixth on his marathon debut.
Farah came home in his final marathon in ninth in 2:10.28, while Chris Thompson made it four British runners in the top 10 by finishing 10th.
Swiss star Marcel Hug won a fifth men’s wheelchair race in London, just six days after winning the Boston Marathon.
The ‘Silver Bullet’ shattered his own course record with a time of 1:23.43.
Great Britain’s David Weir finished fifth in his 24th London Marathon in a time of 1:32.44.
The women’s wheelchair race was won by 2018 winner Madison de Rozario of Australia, who pipped four-time champion Manuela Schar on the finish line.