London Marathon 2024–Bekele, Munyao, Jepchirchir, and Assefa Running Form Analysis

The 2024 London Marathon delivered exciting results, including a new women’s-only world record by Peres Jepchirchir, who beat current world record holder Tigst Assefa. On the men’s side, Kenenisa Bekele set a new men’s masters world record while coming in second to Alexander Mutiso Munyao.

Elite Men

I had a videographer at mile 21 on the course to capture slow motion footage of the top men and women, since there’s so much to learn from elite running form analysis. Using that footage plus some broadcast clips, I compared the form of Munyao and Bekele:

This was my first time writing about Munyao (who has also been called Mutiso), but I’ve analyzed Bekele’s form many times and am frankly a huge fan. It was exciting to see him have such a good race, and it’s a shame he was held back in the end by back pain, which he did report in postrace interviews.

I have captured slow motion footage of Bekele twice before, in the Berlin marathons of 2016 and 2017. In both races he’s had the same basic form as in London… and in fact for his whole career. However in neither of those races does he seem to turn so much more to the left than to the right (though we can’t be 100% sure due to camera angles), and it’s quite clear he didn’t lift his chest and tuck his chin the way he did in London. I believe this all relates to his back pain, and probably feels like an effect of the pain to him, but is more likely the cause of it.

If you’re a Bekele fan too, or just want to learn from this phenomenal runner (which you should do!), here are the form analyses I’ve done of him over the years:

Berlin Marathon 2019

London Marathon 2018

Berlin Marathon 2017

Berlin Marathon 2016

Paris Marathon 2014 (Bekele’s marathon debut)

Great North Run 2013 (comparison with Haile Gebrselassie and Mo Farah)

Elite Women

Although I haven’t done a full analysis of the elite women in this race, I have made a compilation of the slow motion footage I have for the first 13 women at mile 21. Here it is:

Peres Jepchirchir looks great in this race–the best I’ve ever seen her. The slight hunch that she’s had in previous races doesn’t seem to be in evidence here, and you can see her deep and effective lean even in this video thumbnail image. It gives her such a long stride despite her short stature. If you showed me that video and asked me if she could set a new women’s-only world record, I’d say yes!

Here are my previous analyses of Jepchirchir:

Boston Marathon 2022

New York City Marathon 2021

Tokyo Olympics Marathon

Assefa’s form looks pretty consistent with my analysis of her world record run in Berlin, and Jepkosgei’s form with my comments from Boston 2022.

Brigid Kosgei, former world record holder, is looking a little, well, slouchy. Her form changed dramatically between London 2018 and Chicago 2019 where she set the world record. Her footwear changed at the same time, from racing flats to supershoes, and the effect seemed to extend her body and cause her to use her extensors more (back, glutes, calves…). I discussed all of that in my analysis In this race it almost seems that change is reversing, as she’s a bit flexed and if you look at her midsection you can see that she’s slightly flexed in the waist.

Here are my previous analyses of Kosgei:

Tokyo Olympics Marathon

London Marathon 2020

Chicago Marathon 2019

London Marathon 2019

Chicago Marathon 2018

London Marathon 2018

I’ve also analyzed 9th place finisher Ruth Chepngetich’s form in the 2020 London Marathon if you’d like to make a comparison to the video above.

That’s all I’ve got for you! I do have footage of more of the elite men’s field, and I hope to put together a compilation video like I’ve done for the women. If I do, I’ll add it to this post.

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