This release came from London Marathon Media, and regards the elite British male and female fields, for the race to be held on 3 October 2021. The global elite marathon circuit was completely shaken up by the pandemic, and we do not see any normality returning until now, the fall of 2022.
PURDUE AND MELLOR RETURN TO VIRGIN MONEY LONDON MARATHON EAGER TO PROVE A POINT
- British men’s and women’s fields announced
Charlotte Purdue and Jonny Mellor will return to the Virgin Money London Marathon in 2021 both with extra motivation after missing out on Olympic Games selection this year.
Purdue won the British Championships title at the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon when she was the first domestic athlete home in a personal best (PB) time of 2 hours 25 minutes 38 seconds which is the fourth fastest time ever by a British female.
But she was not selected for Team GB for the Tokyo Olympic Games after an injury meant she was unable to participate in the British Athletics Olympic Marathon Trials in Kew Gardens in March.
Purdue admits the decision hurt but she has put that aside and is now totally focused on the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 3 October.
“Missing the Olympics was hard to take because it was such a big goal of mine,” said Purdue. “Now I’ve decided I have to move on and focus on something else big and exciting which for me is this year’s London Marathon – and look to the next Olympics.
“I always want to run 100 per cent the best I can in any race and I would always want to run well at the London Marathon, but deep down there is a little bit of extra motivation to run really well this year.”
Mellor too was unfortunate to miss out on the Olympic Games. He ran the qualifying time twice and was the first Brit at last year’s Virgin Money London Marathon but he injured his ankle just before the Olympic trial race in March.
Mellor said: “I’m really excited to be coming back for my fifth consecutive London Marathon. It was a very cool and unique race to be a part of around St James’s Park last year and I was delighted to finish as the first British runner home. Now I’m really looking forward to the noise and the cheer of the crowds again.”
Both athletes will get the chance to win selection for the Great Britain marathon team to compete at the World Championships in Oregon next July. British Athletics announced last week that the first British male and female finisher at the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon will automatically be selected for the World Championships providing they have the qualifying time, which is 2:11:30 for men and 2:29:30 for women.
Other British men competing in this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon include Mohamud Aadan, who finished third at Kew Gardens in March in 2:12:20, and Joshua Griffiths of Swansea Harriers, who was the first British finisher at the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon and third Brit last year.
Among the other British women racing in this year’s race are Natasha Cockram, who was the first British finisher at the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon and runner-up at the British Athletics Olympic Marathon Trials at Kew Gardens; Rose Harvey, who ran a big PB of 2:30:58 earlier this year, and Samantha Harrison, the fastest British half marathoner in 2021.
- Jonny Mellor (Club: Liverpool Harriers; Marathon PB 2:10:03)
- Mohamud Aadan (Thames Valley Harriers; 2:12:20)
- Joshua Griffiths (Swansea Harriers; 2:13:11)
- Charlie Hulson (Liverpool Harriers; 2:13:34)
- Andrew Davies (Stockport; 2:14:36)
- Weynay Ghebreselassie (Shettleston; 2:17:26)
- Matthew Leach (Bedford & County; 2:17:38)
- Josh Lunn (Cardiff AC; 2:17:59)
- Dan Nash (Cardiff AC; 2:18:51)
- Ross Skelton (HY Runners; 2:19:21)
- Doug Musson (Notts; debut)
- Jamie Crowe (Central, debut)
- Phil Sesemann (Leeds City, debut)
- Charlotte Purdue (Club: Aldershot Farnham & District AC; Marathon PB 2:25:28)
- Natasha Cockram (Micky Morris Racing Team; 2:30:03)
- Rose Harvey (Clapham Chasers; 2:30:58)
- Naomi Mitchell (Reading AC; 2:33:23)
- Helen Davies (Ipswich Jaffa; 2:34:06)
- Samantha Harrison (Charnwood, 2:51:33)