London Marathon: The best tales from 2019

    Close to 43,000 runners took part in the 2019 London Marathon

    (CNN)Wacky costumes, outrageous records, and a rogue race leader in pink shorts -- marathons are never short of inspiring stories and this year's event in London was no exception.

    While Eliud Kipchoge set a course record of 2:02:37 in the men's race -- the second-fastest marathon time ever after the record he set in Berlin last year -- further back in the field other runners were more concerned with setting their own personal bests.
    Here are some of the standout stories from this year.

      Mixing it with the race leaders

      Everyone's played the "how long can I keep up with an elite marathon runner" game, but one competitor in London decided to make it a reality.
      If you watched the start of the men's race in London, you may have been surprised to see a non-elite runner -- dressed in eye-catching pink shorts -- mixing it with the race leaders.
      Hats off to Richard Ollington, who went on to run 25.2 further miles and clock an impressive time of 2:34:09, rubbing shoulders with giants, in the process clocking a personal best over a mile in his first ever marathon.
      "Shared an unforgettable moment with Kipchoge," Ollington, who was back running on Monday morning, posted on social media. "Vom[ited] at mile 20. Got a hundred shoutouts for the pink shorts. And finished in 2:34ish. Loving life!"
      Ollington is all smiles at the start of the men's elite race

      Finish-line drama

      There was plenty of drama on the finish line, too.
      Hayley Carruthers, a radiographer who balances her marathon training with her full-time medical career, won over plenty of fans when she collapsed and crawled across the finish line.
      Her personal best of 2:34:03 was three minutes outside the qualifying time for British women to compete at the world championships in Doha later this year.
      And if that wasn't impressive enough, she was back into work on Monday morning: "Don't worry guys! I am a'ok! Back to reality ... #doublelife," Carruthers wrote on Twitter on Monday.
      Hayley Carruthers hauls herself over the finish line
      Getting over the finish line after 26.2 grueling miles is no mean feat, but it can be even harder when you're dressed as a London landmark and your costume doesn't fit under the race hoarding.
      It's not unusual for runners to need assistance over the finish line, but Lukas Bates, who ran dressed as Big Ben, encountered a unique problem when the top of his costume wouldn't fit under the finish line.