The Virgin Money London Marathon is set to begin this Sunday morning at 5:10 a.m., with a men’s field that’s almost as packed as the women’s. World record holder Eliud Kipchoge and one of the most decorated track runners in history Sir Mo Farah have been billed as the headliners, but the field goes way beyond those two.
Along with Kipchoge and Farah, there are eight other men who have run under 2:06:00 and among those men is half-marathon world record holder Abraham Kiptum of Kenya. Kiptum was suspended from the London Marathon as of Friday for a biological passport violation.
Shura Kitata of Ethiopia comes in with a personal best of 2:04:49 from last year’s London Marathon. He’s got experience on the course and has posted consistent results in the past year, running a 2:06:01 at the 2018 New York City Marathon for second place. He will certainly be in the mix.
Wilson Kipsang of Kenya has the second-fastest personal best in the group at 2:03:13, but that time is getting a little old. The marathoner ran his PB back in 2016 at the Berlin Marathon and hasn’t touched the time since the Tokyo Marathon in 2017. While Kipchoge is coming in with more momentum, Kipsang is one of the fastest marathoners of all time, so he’s not to be counted out.
Mosinet Geremew of Ethiopia is also in contention for the top three. The runner is a shockingly consistent racer and his 2018 Chicago second place performance was very impressive. Coming off of a 2:04:00 in Dubai in 2018, he’s certainly a runner to watch.
Callum Hawkins is a dark horse pick. He’s got one of the slower personal bests in the elite field, but as my colleague put it, “this guy can go hard.” Hawkins is a contender for the top three based on his stunning 2017 World Championships performance where he landed himself in fourth position. The 2:10:17 that he posted in that race doesn’t do the performance justice. Hawkins is a tough racer so keep an eye on the British runner on Sunday.
Our picks for top three
1 – Kipchoge
2 – Kipsang
3 – Geremew
Dark horse – Hawkins