London elite field announced – and wow, it’s elite

The 2012 Olympic Marathon podium will all be in London this year - along with the rest of the best of the men's marathon world

The 2012 Olympic Marathon podium will all be in London this year – along with the rest of the best of the men’s marathon world

We said in our 2013 elite marathon schedule preview that the year of an Olympics is always hard to follow in terms of spectacle. For the 2013 Virgin London Marathon it was always going to be a big ask to back up after hosting the Olympics, but wow, have they answered the call in the most spectacular way with what is been called the best ever elite men’s field for a Marathon.

The race will feature 11 men who’ve completed the distance in under 2:06, all three medallists from the London 2012 Olympic Games Marathon and the winners of the 2012 Berlin, Chicago, London, Frankfurt and Dubai Marathons and both the official and unofficial world record holders for the marathon distance.

The entrant list is like a who’s who of marathoning; London Olympic gold medallist Stephen Kiprotich, world record holder Patrick Makau (2:03:38), reigning World Marathon Majors champion and Boston 2:03:02 record holder Geoffrey Mutai , Olympic silver medallist Abel Kirui, 2012 Chicago marathon champion Tsegaye Kebede, 2012 Dubai winner Ayele Abshero (2:04:23) and former London winners Martin Lel (2:05:15) and Emmanuel Mutai (2:04:40).

200px-London_Marathon.svgFor first time organiser Hugh Brasher it is a reason to be excited.

“We’re delighted to welcome all three medalists from the London 2012 Olympic Marathon to this year’s Virgin London Marathon,” said Brasher.

“The Olympic stars will line up alongside the world’s best distance runners in what promises to be a remarkable battle between the strongest men’s field ever assembled for a marathon.

The women’s race, while not as star studded, is still impressive. 2012 gold and silver Olympic medallists Tiki Gelana and Priscah Jeptoo will be in the headlines along with prominent Kenyan’s Edna Kiplagat and Florence Kiplagat.

All eyes though will be on a marathon debutant. Three times Olympic gold medallist (5,000m – 2008, 10,000m – 2008/2012) Tirunesh Dibaba will be stepping up to the marathon distance for London. In addition to her Olympic glory she has a half-marathon PB of 1:07:35. It will certainly add spice to what is already an intriguing race.

If you have any interest in elite marathon running, be sure to set April 21 aside in your calendar – this is a more than worthy successor to the Olympic memories.

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