LONDON: Eliud Kipchoge will be the star attraction at the London Marathon this weekend but the Kenyan, who smashed his own world record for the distance in Berlin on Sunday, will restrict his exertions to handing out medals in the Mini-Marathon. Kipchoge, a four-times winner in London, clocked two hours, 01.09 seconds to take half a minute off his own record set on the same Berlin course four years ago. Returning to London he will present medals to thousands of youngsters racing parts of the course on Saturday, finishing under the famous gantry on The Mall. In an initiative for this year, new race sponsor Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) will give the school of every child who finishes 10 pounds ($10.78) per participant to spend on PE or IT equipment. “We are thrilled that Eliud will be with us this weekend. He is, without doubt, the GOAT of marathon running and will be a huge inspiration to everyone taking part,” said event director Hugh Brasher. The London Marathon will revert to its usual April date next year, increasing the chances of a return for Kipchoge as the optimum course of Berlin, traditionally held in September, remains his main draw when records are in his sights. Brasher said he hoped the example of Kipchoge could persuade Britain’s finest ever distance runner to defer any thoughts of retirement despite his struggles to compete at the sharp end in recent years. Brasher said that he was planning for London Marathon to accommodate 50,000 runners, up from the current total of around 40,000, probably from 2024, with a long view to matching that with 50,000 in the Mini Marathon to mark the race’s 50th Anniversary in 2031. The New York Marathon is consistently the world’s biggest, with around 50,000 regularly finishing.