By the halfway point of the men's race, Mutai, Kimetto, Geoffrey Kipsang and Maiyo were still in contention. Mutai pulled away from the pack, along with Kimetto, after 30 km. Kimetto remained close to the leader put never overtook him, leaving Mutai to take the title (and the World Marathon Majors jackpot) by a margin of second with his winning time of 2:04:15 hours. The times of the Kenyan pair were the fastest recorded that year and the fourth and fifth fastest ever at that point. Despite the fast times of the men's race, some reporters felt the finish to be an anti-climax – both Mutai and Kimetto slowed in the final kilometres and neither pushed the other into a sprint finish, even though they finished one second apart. The Guardian's Ross Tucker remarked that the positions seemed "pre-planned" between the training partners. Geoffrey Kipsang comfortably took third place with a time of 2:06:12 for his debut run. The top nine men were all Kenyan, with Japan's Masakazu Fujiwara rounding out the top ten places.
The women's race was also dominated by two East African training partners. Aberu Kebede (winner in 2010) and Tirfi Tsegaye were unchallenged after the halfway point. In contrast to the men's race, Aberu pulled away on her own and recorded a best of 2:20:30 hours to win (over a minute short of the course record). Runner-up Tirfi also improved her best (2:21:19) and Olena Shurkhno took third place some two minutes later with a Ukrainian record time.