Sudha Singh was the best Indian woman runner with a personal best timing.
Cosmas Lagat of Kenya and Worknesh Alemu of Ethiopia surprised pre-race favourites to win the men's and women's crowns respectively in the US $405,000 Tata Mumbai Marathon, in Mumbai, on Sunday.
Lagat, winner of the Sevilla Marathon in 2016, made the 42.195-km race in the coastal city his own over the last 10 km to storm his way home in 2 hours, 9 minutes and 15 seconds, the second-best timing in the 16-year history of the race.
The course record of 2:08:35 seconds of his Kenyan compatriot Gideon Kipketar, set in 2016, just about survived the long-legged Lagat's onslaught after he left behind all his rivals, including pre-race favourite Abera Kuma of Ethiopia well behind.
In second place was Aychew Bantie of Ethiopia in 2:10:05s, while Akalnew Shumet, also from Ethiopia, was third in 2:10:14s.
The man with the best time going into the race, Kuma, finished seventh in 2:13:10s after being with the lead bunch of ten runners, including some pacers, on the sea link after 19 kms before the pack split up.
"I did not think of course record and only winning was on my mind," said Lagat, who was a pacemaker in the 2012 London Olympics and started running when in primary school.
The women's event was also a one-horse race over the last 5 km once Ethiopian Alemu split the field with 12 km left.
Finally, she was home all alone, well in front of the others, including pre-race favourite, compatriot and defending champion Amane Gobena, in 2:25:45s, which was outside the course record.
Gobena was second in 2:26:09s while another Ethiopian woman, Birke Debele, was third in 2:26:39s to mark a clean sweep for the African nation.
"I am coming to the Mumbai Marathon for the first time and am happy with the result," said Alemu, for whom this was her second title in six attempts, the first coming in Morocco in 2017.
Sudha Singh emerged the best Indian woman runner with a personal best time of 2:34:56s; her timing, however, was well under the qualifying mark of 2:37:00s, set by the IAAF for the September-October Doha World Championships.
The 3,000m steeplechase specialist and winner of gold and silver medals in two Asian Games, finished eighth overall, ahead of former champion Dinkesh Mekash of Ethiopia, who placed ninth in 2:36:31s.
Her earlier personal best in the marathon was 2:35:35s, clocked while finishing 19th in the 2015 Beijing World Championships.
The Indian Railways athlete also bettered the National course record of 2:37:29s, which was in the name of O P Jaisha since 2015.
This was her third best finish among Indians, bringing her on par with Lalita Babar, who did it three times in a row between 2012 and 2014.
Nitendra Singh Rawat was the best Indian male runner, clocking 2:15:52 seconds.
Men's marathon: 1. Cosmas Lagat (Kenya) 2:09:15s, 2. Aychew Bentie (Ethiopia) 2:10:05, 3. Shumet Akalnew (Ethiopia) 2:10:14.
Women's marathon: 1. Worknesh Alemu (Ethiopia) 2:25:45s, 2. Amane Gobena (Ethiopia) 2:26:09, 3. Birke Debele (Ethiopia) 2:26:39), 8. Sudha Singh (India) 2:34:56.
Indian men: 1. Nitendra Singh Rawat 2:15:52s, 2. Gopi Thonakal 2:17:03, 3. Karan Singh 2:20:10.
Indian women: 1. Sudha Singh 2:34:56s, 2. Jyoti Gawte 2:45:48, 3. Jigmet Dolma 3:10:42.
Women's half marathon: 1. Meenu Prajapathi 1:18:05s, 2. Saigeeta Naik 1:19:01, 3. Manju Yadav 1:25:11.
Men's half marathon: 1. Srinu Bugatha 1:05:49s, 2. Shankar Man Thapa 1:06:07, 3. Kalidas Hirave 1:06:38.