Runners begin the Paris Marathon ©ASO

A record 43,317 runners from 160 countries competed amid heightened security in the 40th Paris Marathon today in an event billed as an example of sporting adversity in a time of conflict.

Taking place just five months after the deadly bombings which killed 130 people in the French capital in November and two weeks after the devastating terrorist attacks in nearby Brussels, an emergency operation including electronic surveillance and helicopters was deployed.

Organisers were also mindful of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, although calls for the race to be cancelled for the first time 1991, when it did not take place due to France's involvement in the Gulf War.

The race was started on the world famous Champs-Élysées by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, and Paris 2024  co-chairman and triple Olympic slalom canoeing champion Tony Estanguet.

Both will be hoping that the event will have helped promote Paris' bid to host the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics. 

At the front end, Cyprian Kotut led a Kenyan procession in the men's race to triumph in 2 hours 07min 11sec.

Compatriot Laban Korir was second in 2:07:29 and Stephan Chemlany third in 2:07.37.

Cyprian Kotut crosses the line to win the men's race at the Paris Marathon ©Getty Images
Cyprian Kotut crosses the line to win the men's race at the Paris Marathon ©Getty Images

Visiline Jepkesho took women's honours in 2:25:53 to complete a Kenyan double.

Ethiopian pair Gulume Chala and Dinkesh Tefera came second and third in 2:26:14 and 2:28:12 respectively.

“The record-breaking 40th edition of the Paris Marathon has been a huge success and I’d like to congratulate all of the runners, spectators, volunteers and race organisers who contributed to a wonderful festival of sport," Estanguet, a member of the International Olympic Committee Athletes' Commission.

“We have seen this weekend that Paris is one of the world’s most iconic and cosmopolitan cities with historic landmarks and breath-taking venues offering an incredible live setting and stunning broadcast pictures - the perfect platform to showcase sport.

“Sport underpins much of our social life in France with grassroots, amateur and elite sportspeople participating daily in the hundreds of sports clubs in the heart of the city.

"Our promise is to harness this enthusiasm for sport and help the Olympic Movement to create a new generation of fans globally by offering the best possible platform for Olympic events.”