Nairobi — EDNA Kiplagat, elated at breaking her Virgin Money London Marathon duck, explained how she got it right this time to lay to rest following her disappointments of the last two years.
Kiplagat made it third-time lucky after being runner up in the event for the last two years.
Kiplagat ran the fastest ever marathon by a 34-year-old to finish in 2:20:21, just three seconds ahead of her namesake, the unrelated Florence Kiplagat, after a sprint finish down the final 200 metre to the finish gantry in The Mall.
It was the closest finish since 1997 when another Kenyan, Joyce Chepchumba, outsprinted Britain's Liz McColgan to win by a single second in 2:26:21.
The winner revealed afterwards that she had adjusted her training because she had a feeling that Sunday's race might require a strong kick in the closing stages.
“I focused on speedwork in training, because I thought I might need a good sprint finish to win today and at long last that is what I have done,” said Kiplagat.
Florence Kiplagat finished second in 2:20:24, while Ethiopian track star Tirunesh Dibaba was third on her marathon debut after dropping her drinks bottle at the 30km mark. Dibaba lost touch with the Kiplagats as she stopped to pick it up but hung on to clock an impressive 2:20:35.