Justin Lagat wrote this piece on the elite women’s race at the 2022 TCS London Marathon, to be held on 2 October 2022.
Given the relatively new names in the marathon event that are lining up at the start line of the 2022 London Marathon on Sunday in the women’s race and their personal best times in the half marathon distance that some of them were past world records; one would not help but wonder whether the course record of 2:15:25 that was set by Paula Radcliffe in 2003 will stand.
The defending champion, Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei, will be back on the start line in an attempt to win a second London Marathon title in the very strong women’s elite field.
With two world marathon major titles -2019 New York City and 2021 London Marathons- under her name, the 27-year-old Jepkosgei appears to be the favorite.
But with a world record of 29:14 for the 10K and a time of 1:03:51 for the half marathon, the race between Yalemzerf Yehualaw and the defending champion will be thrilling to watch.
Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw is the second fastest in the women’s field at this weekend’s @LondonMarathon.
Her 2:17:23 course record in Hamburg last April was the fastest debut ever and pushed her to the sixth-fastest woman in the all-time list.
— RunBlogRun (@RunBlogRun) September 29, 2022
Yehualaw from Ethiopia is the second fastest on paper with a time of 2:17:23 that he ran to set a new course record in Hamburg last year. Before Tigist Assefa could run 2:15:37 at the Berlin Marathon this past weekend, Yehualaw’s was the fastest debut ever.
After the withdrawal of the world record holder, Brigid Kosgei, her training partner under the same coach and management, Judith Korir, who was set to be a pacemaker in the race, has decided to run the full distance instead. Korir won a silver medal at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon this year and is also the reigning Paris Marathon champion.
The other woman to watch out for in the race will be the 31-year-old Kenyan-born Romanian citizen, Joan Chelimo Melly.
“I do believe I am a sub 2:20 marathon runner, I know I have it in my legs, and so my target this year will be to run under two hours and 20 minutes. Although I can’t say, I will be going for that time in Seoul since I have never run on the course before and I can’t tell how tough the course will be,’ said Chelimo, whose personal best time was 2:20.57 when I interviewed her in April before she went to the Seoul Marathon and ran a personal best time and a new national record of 2:18:04 to win the women’s race. This puts her in the 9th position on the World athletics ranking.
The competitive women’s field has eight runners who have personal best times of under 2hrs 20 minutes.