Felix Kirwa wins Stockholm Marathon despite being sent the wrong way

·1-min read
Photo credit: JOHAN JEPPSSON - Getty Images
Photo credit: JOHAN JEPPSSON - Getty Images

The last thing you want during a marathon is to take a wrong turn, least of all when you’re leading the race. But that is exactly what happened during last weekend’s Stockholm Marathon.

At the 30km mark, the leading pack, comprising Kenyan Felix Kirwa and Eritreans Tesfaye Lencho Anbesa and Merhawi Keste, was led off-course due to a communication error by the race's lead motorcycle rider.

At the time of the mistake, the course record looked like it was about to be broken, but after being misdirected, the runners added at least two minutes onto their time, meaning the record of 2:10:10 went out the window.

Footage of the mistake shows the lead runners being led across a bridge before being informed they were going the wrong way and that they needed to turn around. Confusion and chaos then reigned, as the runners threw up their arms in frustration.

However, all was not lost, as the lead pack caught back up, with Kirwa taking victory (and covering 43.2km) in 2:11:07. Kesete took second, with John Lagat of Kenya coming in third. Ethiopia's Tsige Haileslase won the women's marathon – her debut at the distance – in 2:31:48.

Afterwards, Kirwa told TV4: ‘I am very happy to win the Stockholm Marathon. But we ran wrong and we missed the record because of it.’

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