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Eilish McColgan to make marathon debut at London Marathon

McColgan hopes to become the first woman from the U.K. to win the London Marathon since 2005 in a stacked elite field

Photo by: Kevin Mackinnon

The 5K and 10K British record holder, Eilish McColgan, is following in the footsteps of her mother, Liz, 26 years after she became the first Scottish woman to win the London Marathon. Eilish announced on social media that she will be making her marathon debut on Sunday, Oct. 2, in London. She hopes to become the first woman from the U.K. to win the London Marathon since Paula Radcliffe in 2005.

Joining McColgan on the start line will be the women’s marathon world record holder Brigid Kosgei and defending champion Joyciline Jepkosgei. McColgan has had a successful year so far, setting a British and European 10K record of 30:19 at the Great Manchester Run in May. A month later at the FBK Games in Hengelo, Netherlands, she ran a Scottish 10,000m record of 30:19.02, beating the time set by her mother in 1991.

McColgan has a busy schedule ahead, as she plans to run the 5,000m and 10,000m double for Team Great Britain at the World Championships in Eugene, Ore, in two weeks, then do the same thing at the Commonwealth Games for Team Scotland a week later in Birmingham.

Eilish McColgan at the Great South Run in Portsmouth, U.K., in 2019

“I feel like the London Marathon is always the iconic event,” McColgan told BBC Scotland. “I watched my mum run the race as a kid. It’s a bit surreal so many years later I’m following in her footsteps, and I think she’s excited to see that finally come into action.”

After winning the silver medal in the marathon at the Tokyo Olympics, Kosgei indicated she was back to her world record form by winning the 2022 Toyko Marathon in 2:16:02. Kosgei and Jepkosgei opted out of being selected for Kenya’s World Championship team, and both will be looking to regain their London Marathon titles come October.

Other athletes to keep your eyes on are the Ethiopian trio of Yalemzerf Yehualaw, Ababel Yeshaneh and Girmawit Gebrzihair. Yehualaw is the current world record holder in the 10K (29:14) and has run the second-fastest time ever over the half-marathon (63:51). Yeshaneh finished second to Peres Jepchirchir in Boston this year and was third at the New York Marathon in 2021. Will London be the setting for Yeshaneh’s first major title?

After having success on the track, Gebrzihair, who won the RAK Half Marathon in what was her half marathon debut earlier this year, will also be making her marathon debut. 

The full list of female elites for the 2022 London Marathon can be found here.

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