This Sunday is the London Marathon – the race that runners (and racers) around the world have been anticipating for months. While the women’s field doesn’t include a Canadian contingent, there remains several can’t-miss storylines in the women’s event.
Kosgei vs. everyone else
Brigid Kosgei shocked the world at the 2019 Chicago Marathon when she ran the current world record of 2:14:04 – much faster than anyone expected her, or any woman, to run that day. She’ll be racing on Sunday and can hopefully run within the ballpark of her world record and drag several other women to historically fast times.
Other contenders for the women’s title are Ruth Chepngetich, who won the 2019 world championship marathon. She owns a personal best of 2:17:08 from the 2019 Dubai Marathon. Vivian Cheruiyot will also be in the mix, with her 2:18:31 personal best from 2018.
Finally, a debut to watch will come from Edith Chelimo of Kenya. Chelimo ran a 1:07:16 half-marathon a few weeks ago, but owns a personal best of 1:05 from 2017 (the 17th fastest of all time).
There are three American contenders in Sunday’s race: Molly Seidel, Lindsay Flanagan and Sara Hall. Seidel has already qualified for the Olympics, doing so in her first-ever marathon in February at the U.S. Olympic Trials. Both Flanagan and Hall were unsuccessful that day, making them hungry for more.
Hall especially seems confident heading into Sunday’s race. Coming off a solo 1:08 half-marathon personal best, she is looking to run a PB. As one of the fastest American women in history already (her PB is 2:22:16 from Berlin 2019), any improvement on that time puts in her American record territory. The record currently stands at 2:19:36, held by Deena Kastor, which was run at the London Marathon and has stood for 14 years.
The masters world record
Sinead Diver will also be a contender in the women’s race, but there is a time to keep in mind when watching her run. Diver, 43, (who hates to be called a masters runner) stands a chance to break the women’s masters world record of 2:23:31, which was run by Lydia Cheromei Kogo of Kenya in 2017. Her personal best currently stands at 2:24:11 from last year’s London Marathon.
How and when to watch
The women’s race is a bit of a tough sell for North American viewers, especially those on eastern time, due to the early wakeup call to watch it live. However, after months without a world major marathon, the early morning seems worth it.
It gets underway at 2:45 a.m. ET and can be watched on FloTrack (but it’ll cost you) or it can be streamed for free on the BBC if you’re in Europe.