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Athletics: Records under threat in London Marathon

Near-ideal sunny and clear conditions greeted the first runners to start the London Marathon with fans hoping for a fast pace by British favourite Mo Farah in his debut over the distance. Farah, the reigning Olympic and world 5,000 metres and 10,000m champion, was to take his place in an elite men's field due off at 10:00am 0900 GMT). Among his competitors will be Kenya's Wilson Kipsang, who set the world marathon record of two hours three minutes 23 seconds at September's Berlin Marathon.

Virtual reality opens London Marathon to all

By Mitch Phillips LONDON (Reuters) - "You're virtually there" is a common shout of encouragement to ailing runners in the London marathon but thanks to a new "interactive 3D experience" athletes the world over will be able to navigate the course from the comfort of their own treadmill. Marathon organizers have combined with established treadmill video producers Paofit to create the new system that combines HD video of the entire 26.2 mile, icon-studded route with virtual reality avatars.

Athletics: Top Kenyan predicts hard debut marathon for Farah

Former London marathon winner Emmanuel Mutai has played down excitement over Mo Farah's marathon debut challenge in the race in April, saying the Briton has little chance of beating the savvy East Africans. Mutai, who holds the course record of 2:04.40 he set in winning the race in 2011, said double Olympic and world 5,000m and 10,000m champion Farah will have a tough time making the leap to 42.2km (26.2 miles). "This not to say that I am underrating him, but with all respect Mo Farah has had no experience in running a full marathon," Mutai told AFP.

Farah set for baptism of fire in marathon debut

By Mark Young (Reuters) - Briton Mo Farah is set for a baptism of fire in his marathon bow when he takes on an elite field that includes Uganda's Olympic and world champion Stephen Kiprotich in London in April. The double Olympic and world 5,000 and 10,000 meters champion will race over 26.2 miles for the first time and will also be up against Kenya's world record holder Wilson Kipsang, last year's winner Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia and Kenyan Emmanuel Mutai who set a course record in 2011.

Athletics: Farah braced for London Marathon ordeal

Double world and Olympic champion Mo Farah admitted on Tuesday that he will face a gruelling challenge when he runs the London Marathon for the first time this year. Having claimed victory in the 5,000 and 10,000 metres at both the 2012 London Olympics and last year's World Championships, the 30-year-old Briton is now turning his sights to the marathon. He ran half of last year's London Marathon and will complete the full race in April, when he will come up against some of the biggest names in marathon running.

Athletics: Mutai, Jeptoo win New York Marathon titles

Kenyans Geoffrey Mutai and Priscah Jeptoo won New York City Marathon titles Sunday as elite runners returned to the Big Apple a year after Hurricane Sandy forced the cancellation of the race and seven months after the Boston Marathon bombings. Mutai, who also won the 2011 New York crown, won the men's race in an official time of 2hrs 8mins, 24secs, 52 seconds ahead of runner-up Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia but well off the course record of 2:05:05 he set two years ago.

Virgin Money to sponsor London Marathon to 2017

LONDON (Reuters) - Richard Branson's Virgin Money has extended its sponsorship of the London Marathon until at least 2017, the banking group said on Monday after this weekend's race brought big crowds on to the city's streets. Virgin Money has been title sponsor of the race since 2010 and set a target of helping runners to raise 250 million pounds ($381 million) for charity over the five years.

Kebede and Jeptoo blot out Olympic disappointment

By Alison Wildey LONDON (Reuters) - Ethiopia's Tsegaye Kebede and Kenyan Priscah Jeptoo put last year's Olympic disappointments behind them on Sunday with victories in the London Marathon. Big crowds, undaunted by the Boston Marathon bombings last week, lined the route to cheer on the runners, many of whom wore black ribbons to honour those killed and wounded in the American race.

Athletics: Kebede, Jeptoo win emotional London Marathon

Ethiopia's Tsegaye Kebede and Priscah Jeptoo of Kenya triumphed at a sombre London Marathon on Sunday, as runners paid tribute to the victims of the deadly bomb attacks at the Boston Marathon. Kebede hunted down 2011 champion Emmanuel Mutai to win the men's race, while Jeptoo surged to victory in the women's event, eight months on from her second-place finish at the London Olympics.

Athletics: Kebede, Jeptoo win emotional London Marathon

Ethiopia's Tsegaye Kebede and Priscah Jeptoo of Kenya triumphed at a sombre London Marathon on Sunday, as runners paid tribute to the victims of the deadly bomb attacks at the Boston Marathon. Kebede hunted down 2011 champion Emmanuel Mutai to win the men's race, while Jeptoo surged to victory in the women's event, eight months on from her second-place finish at the London Olympics.
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