Despite not achieving his goal of running the fastest marathon debut ever at Paris Marathon on Saturday (5 April), Kenenisa Bekele still managed to break the course record in the French capital. The Ethiopian's time of 2:05:04 is the sixth fastest marathon debut in history and will be considered a marker for Mo Farah who tackles his first 26.2 mile race at London this weekend.
Bekele opted not to race against Farah at London after failing to come to a financial agreement with the organisers. The decision looks to have paid off after his time at Paris shaved eight seconds off the previous course record held by Kenyan Stanley Biwott to win the men's race.
Bekele opened up a large gap on the rest of the field after 15 miles and didn’t relinquish his lead from then onwards. The 31-year-old said after the race: "I had no marathon experience before today and it was very tough, but I ran the time that I expected. After 25 kilometres I pushed on alone. My hamstring was cramping from 25km to 30km so I was a bit worried. Five kilometres from the finish my hamstring cramped up again and I couldn’t accelerate. I think in the future I’ll do better, but it’s very positive."
The women's marathon was won by pre-race favourite Flomena Cheyech of Kenya. The 31-year-old's time of 2:22:42 took almost two minutes off her previous PB set at last year's Vienna Marathon.
Around 42,000 participants were running at the marathon which was being held for the 38th year. Beginning on the Champs-Elysées, they enjoyed a scenic course that headed towards the Place de la Concorde and continued through the city to finish at Foch Avenue.
For a full list of results, visit our race listings page.