Rob Watson announced on Wednesday that he will be running the London Marathon on April 24 in an attempt to qualify for the Olympic Games in Rio. He’s one of two Canadians in the men’s elite field with Brandon Lord also being announced as an entrant.
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London Marathon 2016, it’s on. One last shot at that standard. Super excited, let’s do this @pwwatson77!
— Rob Watson (@robbiedxc) January 28, 2016
The Athletics Canada men’s marathon standard is 2:12:50 and must be achieved before May 29 in order to be eligible for the Olympics in August. Watson’s lifetime best is 2:13:29 set at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 2013.
Watson has won three of his previous four races (Fall Classic, Boxing Day 10-miler, Pioneer 8K) and is fresh off a strong performance from the Houston Half-Marathon two weeks ago. Watson finished 21st in 1:03:58.
Watson is in line to represent Canada at the IAAF World Half-Marathon Championship in Wales in March if he can maintain a top-three position among Canadians over that distance. He will be running the First Half in Vancouver on Feb. 14.
The 32-year-old has strung together several great performances despite being without a footwear sponsor — New Balance recently downgraded his contract, according to Watson via his podcast. Watson subsequently decided to cut his ties with New Balance but continues to be supported by Forerunners in Vancouver.
The last time Watson ran a marathon was in mid-October running 2:17:21 at the Bank of American Chicago Marathon.
Joining Watson on the line will be Lord, who trained with Watson for much of the fall in Charlottesville, Va., as he comes off a great performance at the Houston Half-Marathon running 1:04:03. Lord was a DNF at the Chicago Marathon this fall (his debut).
Featured image: Victoria Sports News.