[Skip to content]

Search our Site
  • Instagram Icon
  • RSS Icon
  • Twitter Icon
  • Facebook Icon
  • YouTube Icon
UK Athletics

brits set for london marathon test

Share this

Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Tell friends via WhatsApp Email us
Overall, Samuels and Stepto

25 April 2015

On Sunday morning, thousands of runners will line up to take on the Virgin Money London Marathon and there will be plenty of British interest in the elite men’s and women’s fields.

The elite men’s race will feature London 2012 Olympian Scott Overall (coach: Alan Storey) will be looking to improve on his 19th place finish from 2014, where he crossed the line in 2:19.55.

“Things have gone well, so hopefully I can put together a better, more sensible race than last year,” he said. “The ultimate goal is to qualify for Rio next year. An OK performance would be around 2:12, a good one 2:10 or 2:11, and a great performance would be under that”, said the Blackheath & Bromley athlete whose marathon best of 2:10.55 came in Berlin in 2011.

“I’ve learned a lot from every marathon I’ve done but if someone had told me in 2011 that by 2015 I still wouldn’t have bettered my Berlin time I wouldn’t have believed them. I know I’ve got a better time in me, but it’s a case of going out there and doing it.”

Alongside him will be Matthew Hynes (Stan Markley) who is making his debut marathon appearance. The Gateshead Harrier ran 63:58 in the Paris Half Marathon last month so will be heading into the race in a confident mood after finishing second for GB & NI at the European 10,000m Cup in Macedonia last year.

Those starting on the British Athletics championship start line at Blackheath include Luton’s Ian Kimpton (Tony Simmons), Dean Lacy (Mark Newell) and John Gilbert who are Britons to keep an eye out for this weekend.

The elite men’s race is billed as the ‘clash of the champions’ between world record holder Dennis Kimetto and reigning champion Wilson Kipsang. Kimetto’s all-time best of 2:02.57 set in Berlin last year beat his training partners’ previous best, and he is excited ahead of his first appearance in the race. However, Kipsang set the course record of 2:04:29 last year so he knows how to race fast in London.

2011 London winner Emmanuel Mutai, second place in this race last year Stanley Biwott, 2014 Chicago marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge and multiple World Marathon Majors champion Geoffrey Mutai will also be in contention for the top prize.

A high quality elite women’s field has been assembled and Paula Radcliffe suggested at a press conference on Wednesday that her women’s only marathon record of 2:17.42 could be improved this weekend.

The field contains the two-time London Marathon champion Mary Keitany, reigning London Marathon champion Edna Kiplagat, half marathon world record holder Florence Kiplagat and Olympic and world silver medallist Priscah Jeptoo should offer a credible threat to Radcliffe’s 2002 mark from Chicago.

British interest in the elite women’s field includes a veteran of GB & NI teams Sonia Samuels (self-coached), 45 year-old Emma Stepto (Alan Rowling) and Rebecca Robinson (self-coached).

Samuels who was part of the European Cross Country gold medal winning team in December is in a confident mood ahead of Sunday’s race.

She said: “I managed to run 110 miles a week in training, which is a step up after running 100 miles a week in the past. Having had a go at the 10,000m last year (at the Commonwealth Games) I feel there’s so much more to come. I’m still really motivated.”

After running a personal best of 2:32:40 at the Frankfurt Marathon last October, Stepto has some British age records in her sights, not least Joyce Smith’s over-45s marathon record of 2:32:48 from the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984.

Setting off at the same time as the masses on the championship start line, Paula Radcliffe will attract much attention and support around the course as she embarks on what is likely to be her final competitive appearance at the London Marathon.

Watch full coverage of the London Marathon on Sunday 26 April from 08:30-10:00, BBC Two and then 10:00-14:30, BBC One.

Full start lists for the elite fields can be found here: https://www.virginmoneylondonmarathon.com/en-gb/news-media/media-resources/elite-race-start-lists/