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Last Updated: Sunday April 13 2008 15:47 GMT

Record time for marathon winner

The marathon

Thousands of runners took to the streets of London for this year's marathon, with the winner of the men's race crossing the line in record time.

Among the 35,000 were professional athletes, fundraisers, and some colourful characters and celebs.

The 26-mile route was slightly changed because of a suspected gas leak, so some had to go a couple of extra yards.

Martin Lel from Kenya won the men's race for the second year running, in a new course record of 2 hours 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, Germany's Irina Mikitenko won the women's, crossing the line in the pouring rain in 2 hours and 24 minutes.

Switzerland's Sandra Graf took the women's Wheelchair race, and David Weir came first in the men's.

Martin Lel
Martin Lel was the first man to cross the finish line
Earlier, the route was slightly changed after there were reports of a strong smell of gas.

The small diversion meant some of the runners had to do an extra two to three yards at the 13 mile point.

But engineers investigated and found there wasn't any leak, and a spokeswoman for the marathon organisers said the runners would not be affected.

The sun was shining when the race kicked off, but some of the runners got caught in the later downpours.

Michelle frost wearing stilts
Runners of all shapes and sizes took part!

Among the crowds were a man wearing a giant robot outfit, and six Maasai warriors.

Buster Martin, aged 101 and father of 17, was hoping to be the oldest person ever to complete the race.

But Paula Radcliffe, who has won the race three times and is the world marathon record-holder, was forced to withdraw because of a toe injury.