One of my favorite things about the Virgin Money London marathon is the extremely high quality of the fields. This year, the fields are pretty extraordinary. And with no Eliud Kipchoge this year, the men’s field is wide open! Should be fun.
Shura Kitata, art courtesy of Virgin Money London Marathon Media Communications
In this column, Justin Lagat speaks of the high quality of both the men and women’s fields. Good luck to all on Sunday, October 3, 2021.
Brigid Kosgei, art courtesy of Virgin Money London Marathon Media Communications
Birhanu Legese has 2:02.48, Mosinet Geremew has 2:02.55 and Titus Ekiru has 2:02.57. Evans Chebet, with 2:03.00, is only three seconds behind the previous world record time.
By having the third, fourth, fifth and seventh fastest runners in the history of Marathon running, the London Marathon organizers have set a stage for a thrilling men’s race on Sunday.
What is more exciting about the Sunday race is that there is no one clear favorite to win the race given that the top runners here are a few seconds apart in their personal best times and are as well relatively new to running in the world marathon majors.
The defending champion, Shura Kitata and runner up Vincent Kipchumba whom he just edged at the finish line will also be at the start line. There will also be Sisay Lemma (2:03.38 PB) and Kinde Atanaw (2:03.51) in the mix.
Could the men push each other to a new course record?
When Kipchoge set the London Marathon course record of 2:02.37 in 2019, Geremew had finished just 20 seconds behind him. So, someone in this group has some first-hand information on how a course record can be set here!
On the women’s side, Brigid Kosgei who holds the women’s world record at 2:14.04 appears to be the clear favorite as she will be seeking to go for a third consecutive victory at the London Marathon.
The women’s only world record of 2:07.01 currently being held by Mary Keitany who announced her retirement from competitive running last month seems to be also under threat given that there are nine women who have run under 2:20.00 – five of them under 2:19.00; Not to mention the time incentives being offered by the organizers of the marathon.
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