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London Marathon releases its best elite field in years

This is a who's who of marathoning

Photo by: Maxine Gravina

On Friday morning the London Marathon announced its elite lineups and they’re amazing – so good they’re the kind of lineup you wait six months for. The race will run as an elite-only event on October 4, and both the men’s and women’s fields include the the world record holders, the second-fastest marathoners in history, and a slew of world champions and Olympians to chase them down. 

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An important note about the upcoming event – the Olympic qualification window will be open on October 4 for marathoners to try and secure their spot for the upcoming 2021 Games. World Athletics amended their marathon and race walk qualification window in July, as long-distance runners would struggle to qualify with the small window that track runners were given (December 1 to June 29). 

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The women’s field

The women’s field is led by world record holder Brigid Kosgei, who ran a shocking 2:14:04 at the 2019 Chicago Marathon. She’ll be racing against 2:17 marathoner Ruth Chepngetich, 2:18 marathoner Rosa Dereje and 2:18 marathoner Vivian Cheruiyot. There are five women in the field who’ve run under 2:20 and several others knocking at the door. 

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A runner looking to run around 2:20 will be American Sara Hall, who’s coming off of an impressive solo half-marathon performance (she ran a 1:08:17 personal best a few weeks ago). Hall owns a personal best of 2:22 from 2019 and will be hunting down the American record of 2:19:36, held by Deena Kastor, which was run at the London Marathon and has stood for 14 years. 

Another runner to watch is Sinead Diver of Australia who’s (technically) a masters runner, though you wouldn’t know it based on her times. The 43-year-old is one of the best marathoners in the world, who could certainly set a masters world record in London. It currently stands at 2:23:31. 

There are no Canadians in the women’s field.

The men’s field

On the men’s side, Canada will be represented by Tristan Woodfine, who is relatively new to the marathon scene, but ran a very impressive race at STWM 2019, where he ran 2:13:16 for 11th place. Woodfine will be looking to secure the Olympic standard of 2:11:30. 

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Leading the men’s field is world record holder (and 1:59 marathoner) Eliud Kipchoge. He’s joined by the second-fastest marathoner of all time, Kenenisa Bekele and 2:02 marathoner Mosinet Geremew. Seven men in the field have run under 2:05, all of them in the past two years. 

Notably missing from the men’s field, but on the pacing list is Sir Mo Farah. The 2:05:11 marathoner is the British national record holder in the event. The distance runner is reportedly returning to the track for the remainder of this Olympic cycle. 

Noticeably absent from the lineup is Galen Ruppwinner of the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials on February 29. According to LetsRun.com, Rupp has been focused on regaining his speed in the wake of the surgery he had in 2018 after winning the Chicago Marathon.

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More details on how to follow the event will be released in the coming weeks.