“It was the hardest thing to do. At the same time I didn’t want to push hard and I didn’t want to take the risk because of the pain I was feeling in my leg,” he said. “The best thing was to shut it down and drop out.”
Kenya’s Kiprotich was in front for most of the race’s first half, leading at one point by nearly 20 seconds. About 161
2 miles in, as he approached Big Ben on the race course, Kiprotich was joined by fellow Kenyan Kirui and Uganda’s Kiprotich, and the trio ran neck and neck.
Washington Post reporters and photographer recall their favorite moments from the 2012 London Olympic Games, and what it was like to be in the arena watching the events.
With about four miles remaining, Kenya’s Kiprotich fell slightly behind the Ugandan and Kirui. Less than a mile later, Uganda’s Kiprotich pulled slightly ahead and took possession of the lead.
“The pace was too fast and I knew I could not run away from them, so I just had to keep up with them,” the Ugandan said. “I tried to settle and then I had to break away because I wanted to win this medal.”
There were 105 runners from 68 countries in Sunday’s race, but many of the world’s top marathon runners could not participate. Nations such as Ethiopia and Kenya feature many of the fastest runners but could send just three apiece to London. In fact, the world record holder, Kenyan Patrick Makau Musyoki stayed home because he was not selected by his country’s Olympic committee to compete here.
Uganda, meanwhile, won its first medal since 1996. The country has competed in the Olympics since 1956 but had won only six medals in that time. Its lone gold before Sunday came in 1972 in the 400-meter hurdles.
Running unaffiliated with any country, Guor Marial, who lives and trains in Flagstaff, Ariz., finished 47th out of the 85 finishers in a time of 2:19:32. Because South Sudan, a year-old nation, has yet to organize an Olympic committee, Marial learned less than three weeks ago that he’d be able to compete under the International Olympic Committee’s banner, which wasn’t enough time, he said, to properly prepare for such a competitive race.
Marial said he wasn’t racing for a medal Sunday as much as he was trying to honor “the supporters, the refugees and the people of South Sudan.
“That’s the reason I came here to run.”