Canada’s Rory Linkletter to take on historic field at 2023 London Marathon
Four of the fastest marathoners in history will go head-to-head against Olympic and major marathon champions on April 23Photo by: (provided)
At only 26, Canada’s Rory Linkletter is no stranger to the marathon distance, running six of them since he made his debut in 2019. With experience comes confidence, and Linkletter doesn’t shy away from a challenge–he’s ready to take on the 2023 London Marathon.
“I am excited to be back in a major marathon field,” says Linkletter. “I want to run fast, and London presents an opportunity to do so in the 2024 Olympic qualifying window.”
This past summer, Linkletter announced himself as one of Canada’s best marathoners, with a top 20 finish at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Oregon. His time of 2:10:24 was the fifth fastest ever by a Canadian and the second fastest at a major championship.
After his successful run at Worlds, Linkletter hopped back into training to prepare for the 2022 Canadian Marathon Championships 12 weeks later, at the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon. He ended up seventh overall and second Canadian, in a time of 2:13:32.
Linkletter currently lives and trains in Flagstaff, Ariz., under coach and former marathoner Ryan Hall (who holds the American marathon record of 2:04:58). “I am excited everything is starting to come together. I feel stronger and stronger every workout,” says Linkletter.
Linkletter will have an opportunity to run fast, going up against an extremely deep field of previous champions, national record holders, and Olympic champions.
Four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah headlines the men’s elite list; the 39-year-old announced that London will be his last marathon, and is pondering retirement at the end of 2023. Farah is the British marathon record holder, with a time of 2:05:11 from his 2018 Chicago Marathon win. He currently holds every British distance record from the 10K to the marathon and is widely considered one of the best tactical racers of all time.
Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia is another well-known name on the elite list, building off his success at the 2022 London Marathon, where he placed fifth in a masters (M40+) world record of 2:05:53. His massive run in London last year told the running world that he isn’t done yet. Bekele is a four-time Olympic medallist in the 5,000/10,000m and is the second fastest marathoner in history behind Eliud Kipchoge (2:01:41, Berlin 2019).
Kenya’s Kelvin Kiptum was relatively unknown six months ago, until he ran the third-fastest time ever (2:01:53) at the 2022 Valencia Marathon. Besides a few sub-60-minute half-marathons, Valencia’s was really Kiptum’s first breakthrough performance. At only 23, it will be interesting to see how he fares against a deep and experienced field in London.
The strongest runner in the men’s elite field has to be defending champion Amos Kipruto of Kenya. After finishing second to Kipchoge at the 2022 Tokyo Marathon, Kipruto bounced back and put on a dominant display to win the 2022 London Marathon in 2:04:39. Kipruto is currently one of the best tactical marathoners in the world and has a deadly finishing kick in the closing stages.
The field also features two-time world XC champ and 2019 NYC marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor and a strong Ethiopian contingent featuring 2022 world champion Tamirat Tola (2:03:39), 2019 Tokyo champion Birhanu Legese (2:02:48) and world 2019 silver medallist Mosinet Geremew (2:02:55).
You can see the full elite announcement for the 2023 London Marathon and men’s elite field here.