Unbroken sunshine and barely a breath of wind meant the 11C recorded at the start of the race in Greenwich at 10am felt considerably warmer, as racers began the arduous 26.2 mile course through the capital.
Kenyan world record holder Wilson Kipsang took the Virgin Money London Marathon title in an unofficial time of 2hrs 04mins and 29secs, a course record, with Farah coming home almost four minutes back.
The Briton’s time of 2hrs 08mins 21secs was outside Steve Jones’s 29-year-old British record of 2:07:13 and could persuade him his future remains on the track rather than the road.
Celebrities included former Liverpool and England striker Michael Owen, Game of Thrones actress Natalie Dormer, and Michelin-star chef Michel Roux Jr.
And there was the customary collection of those undertaking the marathon in fancy dress. Another carried a fridge on his back. Super-fit fundraiser Tony Phoenix-Morrison hoped to raise funds tens of thousands of pounds for Cancer Research UK by completing four marathons in one day with a Smeg fridge, weighing more than 42kg, strapped to his back.
Kenya’s Stanley Biwott was second in the men’s race, with Ethiopian defending champion Tsegaye Kebede third.
Kenyan Edna Kiplagat won the women’s elite race in 2:20:21.