"I was a bit disappointed with the run actually," he said.
"It is OK, it is a good start and hopefully I will go into the next one with a lot more confidence.
"It justified the decision to move away from the track but it will be interesting to see when I can run with a group of people at the front."
Kebede, who was runner-up on his London debut in 2009, was only nine seconds outside the course record and his win prevented either Kirui and Mutai extending Kenya's domination of the event to a seventh year.
A steady first half of the race took the leaders over Tower Bridge almost a minute slower than last year, before Mutai stretched the field with only Kebede and Kirui able to follow.
Lemoncello disappointed with Marathon debut
But Kebede's strength proved too great for the other two and Kirui paid for his attempt to challenge as he slid down the field over the final stages.
In contrast to last year's losing battle with Wanjiru, the Olympic bronze medallist completed his victory unchallenged down the finishing straight.
"I was second last year, so it is good to win this year," he said.
"Maybe next year I could run 2:04. I thought I could get the course record but the rain made it difficult."
Salford Harrier Andi Jones secured 10th and qualification for the England team for October's Commonwealth Games in a time of 2:16:38.
Although the result represented an improvement on last year's 13th for the 21-year-old, he was over a minute off his personal best.
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