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 proces