Seems a little bit cruel to describe Eliud Kipchoge as the”nearly man” but I expect that is what he was thinking of himself not long after he had finished yesterday`s London Marathon Yes he had won the race, yes he had set a new course record both of which = mega status and mega bucks but and the big but was that he was eight seconds off setting a new world record and judging by his “triathlon” style finish  down the Mall with the  waving to the crowd etc  this was was comfortably within his grasp if he had been wearing a watch and checked  it as he ran in the final mile  !! The expression  on his face together what was a clearly mouthed “I didn`t know” to the runner up said it all. As ever the race was a great spectacle with the brave performance of  Keninisa Bekele in third place particularly great to see given his recent problems with injuries and the very limited amount of training he had been able to do prior to the race.And some hope for a return to the recent “good old days” of British male marathon performances with the great runs of the Hawkins brothers. Speaking of which as it is likely they will be be representing GB over the distance in the Rio Olympics it would be fascinating to see the other great sibling Olympic double act , the Brownlee brothers , running in a big city marathon as will no doubt be the case sometime in the not so distant future?

Back to yesterdays race and the thrills and yes categorically the “spills” in the ladies race with the amazing spectacle of the eventual race winner Jemima Sumgong  crashing to the ground as she approached the final 5K after being accidentally tripped from behind. As she got up and kept  clutching her forehead as she started to run again I expected a stream of blood but thankfully this was not the case and she was able not only to catch up with the lead group but go on to win relatively comfortably. As for the performance of the British ladies – fairly disappointing and no real  emerging talent as far as I can see. Only about a dozen GB ladies ( inc of course Paula Radcliffe the WR holder) have broken 2 hrs 30mins and there doesn`t  appear to be any younger female  distance runners out there  likely to achieve anything like the East African ( or Paula )  standard.