The pre-race favorite for the men's competition was Haile Gebrselassie, the marathon world record holder. However, he dropped out in the final ten miles (16 km) of the race due to a knee injury and later declared that he was retiring from competition, bringing a close to one of the most successful careers in long-distance running which included eight world titles and 27 world best marks.
Among the fun runners in the marathon event was Edison Peña, a Chilean miner who was saved from the 2010 Copiapó mining accident the previous month. He was invited to the competition as he had used running as a means of maintaining hope during the 69-day period he spent underground. He completed the distance in 5 hours, 40 minutes, 51 seconds.