It’s on: Rob Watson running London in hopes of Olympic standard

Rob Watson announced on Wednesday that he will be running the London Marathon in April in a last ditch effort to qualify for the Olympics.

Rob Watson Pioneer 8K

Rob Watson announced on Wednesday that he will be running the London Marathon on April 24 in an attempt to qualify for the Olympic Games in Rio. He’s one of two Canadians in the men’s elite field with Brandon Lord also being announced as an entrant.

The Athletics Canada men’s marathon standard is 2:12:50 and must be achieved before May 29 in order to be eligible for the Olympics in August. Watson’s lifetime best is 2:13:29 set at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 2013.

Watson has won three of his previous four races (Fall Classic, Boxing Day 10-miler, Pioneer 8K) and is fresh off a strong performance from the Houston Half-Marathon two weeks ago. Watson finished 21st in 1:03:58.

RELATED: April’s London Marathon may be one of the most stacked races ever.

Watson is in line to represent Canada at the IAAF World Half-Marathon Championship in Wales in March if he can maintain a top-three position among Canadians over that distance. He will be running the First Half in Vancouver on Feb. 14.

RELATED: Rob Watson, Natasha Wodak kick off 2016 with wins at Pioneer 8K.

The 32-year-old has strung together several great performances despite being without a footwear sponsor — New Balance recently downgraded his contract, according to Watson via his podcast. Watson subsequently decided to cut his ties with New Balance but continues to be supported by Forerunners in Vancouver.

RELATED: London Marathon women’s field announced, race to be one of 2016’s best.

Chicago marathon
Rob Watson (15) at the back of the chase pack at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon in 2015.

The last time Watson ran a marathon was in mid-October running 2:17:21 at the Bank of American Chicago Marathon.

Joining Watson on the line will be Lord, who trained with Watson for much of the fall in Charlottesville, Va., as he comes off a great performance at the Houston Half-Marathon running 1:04:03. Lord was a DNF at the Chicago Marathon this fall (his debut).

Featured image: Victoria Sports News.