The 26-year-old held on to clock 2:08.14 to become the third-fastest Briton of all time, finishing less than six minutes behind Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge who claimed a record fourth win in the race.
The time booked Hawkins’ spot at this autumn’s world championships in Doha and qualified him for next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.
And in finally wiping Allister Hutton’s 34-year-old Scottish mark from the books, the Kilbarchan ace proved he’s back as a contender again, after his dramatic collapse at last April’s Commonwealth Games.
“I’m glad I was roughly about the same time as Steve Jones on that course,” said Hawkins who was on track to overhaul his mentor’s time before slowing over the closing two miles. “It was pretty much windy the entire way on that course. I was hoping for 2:07 but I’m still happy with 2:08. I actually had a funny moment about 40km in where it utterly smacked me in the face. And I was like ‘oh s***’. But I managed to get my head back together and get back into it. It’s a good stepping-stone for the end of the year – hopefully the worlds, and hopefully I can push for a medal there.”
Kipchoge surged clear in the closing kilometres to win in a course record of 2:02.37, his 11th marathon win in 12 starts. Only the 34-year-old himself has gone quicker when setting his own world record – with Mosinet Geremew second in the third-fastest time ever of 2:02:55 with his fellow Ethiopian Mum Wasihun third. Mo Farah cut his own European record to 2:05:39 but was fading before clinging on to fifth place.
Robbie Simpson, a bronze medallist for Scotland at the 2018 Commonwealths, was the fifth Brit home, coming 23rd overall in a personal best of 2:15.04, with Rio Olympian Tsegai Tewelde the third Scot in 29th in 2:17:00.
Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei eased to a dominant victory in the women’s race in 2:18.20. The 25-year-old, who ran the second half of the distance in an astonishing 66:42, burst almost two minutes clear of compatriot Vivian Cheruiyot with Ethiopian Rozu Dereje third and Charlotte Purdue moving up to third place in the UK all-time rankings by coming tenth in 2:25.38.
Meanwhile Derek Rae grabbed a brilliant silver in the adjoining world para marathon championships.
The 33-year-old Fifer slashed five minutes off his previous best to clock 2:27.08 with Australia’s Michael Roeger winning in a world record of 2:22.51.