The London Marathon for 2024 is on Sunday, April 21, 2024. You can watch it in North America if you pay the fee at Flotrack at 4.30 AM NYC, 3.30 AM Chicago, and 1.30 AM San Jose! 

Here’s Justin Lagat’s feature of the very, very deep women’s event and how athletes from Kenya and Ethiopia are very anxious. 

 

The women’s race is arguably the most anticipated in London this weekend. Ten women who have run under 2:18:00 for the marathon are part of a star-studded elite field for Sunday’s, 21st April, TCS London Marathon. Three of the elite women, Tigist Assefa, who holds the world record at 2:11:53; Brigid Kosgei, who holds the previous world record at 2:14:04; and Ruth Chepngetich, with a personal best time of 2:14:18, are all in the top four in the all-time list of the best female marathon runners in history.

The top elite women here will stage three smaller races within the bigger overall race to win the women’s marathon title.

First, the top women will aim to set a new women-only marathon world record. Kenyan Mary Keitany’s current record of 2:17:01, set in 2017 on the same course, is slower than the time that five of the women here have run. There is a high chance that we shall see a new world record holder by Sunday afternoon.

Secondly, three Kenyan runners in the already named provisional team of six for the Paris Olympics will be trying to prove that they will be fit to be in the final squad. Peres Jepchirchir, the reigning Olympic champion, Kosgei, and Chepngetich, the former world champion, will be aware that their performances here will matter greatly in their dream to be at the Olympic Games in August. The Kenyan selectors will be watching this race very closely. So far, Hellen Obiri has won the Boston Marathon and now seems the only one to have already sealed her place on the team. The three will have London to make their case while Rosemary Wanjiru and Sharon Lokedi, who finished second in their respective races, still await their fate.

Thirdly, there will be the usual Ethiopia versus Kenya marathon supremacy battle. Two World Marathon Majors races have happened this year, and so far, runners from the two nations have dominated them. In Tokyo, Ethiopia’s Sutume Kebede won the women’s race ahead of Kenya’s Wanjiru and her fellow Ethiopian, Amane Beriso. Kenyans led by Benson Kipruto had swept the podium clean in the men’s race. The same rivalry was at the Boston Marathon, with Kenya’s Obiri leading Lokedi and 44-year-old Edna Kiplagat to a 1-2-3 finish in the women’s race. Ethiopia’s Sisay Lemma and Mohamed Esa had finished 1-2 in the men’s race, downgrading Kenya’s defending champion, Evans Chebet, to third place.

​ 

 

By