London Marathon Preview

The Elite Women's start list for Virgin Money London Marathon is here and you can see their kit too. Interestingly, only 5 countries are represented this year compared to 11 last year. I suppose the CWG's contributed to that.

UK: Tracy Barlow, Lily Partridge, Rebecca Murray
USA: Rebecca Wade, Stephanie Bruce, Liz Costello
Kenya: Mary Keitany, Gladys Cherono, Brigid Kosgei, Vivian Cheruiyot
Ethiopia:Tirunesh Dibaba, Mare Dibaba, Tigist Tufa, Tadelech Bekele
Bahrain: Rose Chelimo

The press conference has happened and LetsRun have shared some of it online (below). It's quite hard to hear and nothing earth shattering other that maybe Tirunesh Dibaba saying she started her build up-late.

GB Marathon debut:

FastRunning have got an interview with 23 year old Rebecca Murray who is making her marathon debut on the elite start. Murray (Bedford & County) is coached by Paula Radcliffe's coaches Alex and Rosemary Stanton and ran 73:59 at the Big Half recently. As FR point out, "Great Britain has an impressive knack of producing athletes who have posted top class times on their marathon debuts, with the famous groundbreaking stars from the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s such as Steve Jones, Charlie Spedding, Ron Hill and Mike Gratton, Paula Radcliffe, Mara Yamauchi, Jo Pavey and Liz Nuttall (nee McColgan) – to name but a few The women have been joined in the last decade by Charlotte Purdue, who recorded 2:30:04 in Frankfurt two years ago (now improved to 2:29:23), Sonia Samuels’ 2:30:56 in 2012 (now 2:28:04) and Lily Partridge’s 2:32:09 in Seville last year."

 image from parkrunUk

image from parkrunUk


Rebecca has also spoken to Lets Get Running podcast about the race and about how to deal with mid-race demons

Other GB elites:

 Tracy Barlow is the more experienced of the other GB elites with 12 races completed, whereas Lily Partridge is on her third startline after a strong debut in Seville but a DNF in Berlin following an injury in the build up.

Tracy recently ran in the World Half Marathon Championships in Valencia, running a new personal best time of 72:35 and finishing 43rd, so that will be a big confidence booster. Her PR is faster than Lily in the Marathon, but not in the half.

It'll be interesting to see how Lily gets on. After running 71:05 in The Big Half for second behind Charlotte Purdue she's been out training Murcia, SE Spain for 5 weeks. It also looks like training has been going well for her (from Insta and Twitter) and of course the hot weather shouldn't be as much of a shock to her as some of the other runners who have been training in the UK through winter (though obviously that's mainly the club runners and not those elites used to training in Africa). You can hear Lily on Marathon talk here.

Sadly, Charlotte Purdue had to pull out due to a thigh injury sustained at the above mentioned World Half Champs

I'll add to this tomorrow with more about the other athletes.

Women's Running Roundup 17/4/18 - Boston - interviews with Desi, Sarah, Krista, Molly and Shalane, Boston UK, Brighton and CWG

Women's Running Roundup 17/4/18 - Boston - interviews with Desi, Sarah, Krista, Molly and Shalane, Boston UK, Brighton and CWG

Boston in the UK won by an athlete with a wealth of experience. 

Boston in the US won by an athlete with a wealth of experience and in crazy conditions

Brighton title held and Commonwealth games were hot. 

More if you click through

Training Log: 9th-15th April 2018

Training Log: 9th-15th April 2018

It's the final count down! Mr B gets his last big run done and even gets some sunshine. I get inspired and hit some sub 8min miles and probably over enthusiastic. Not sure if it was good to go with the flow or unwise. Feel free to slap me. 



Listen to this: Female Heroes of the Marathon

It seemed apt that the week I decided to do a regular women's running round up on this blog, one of the podcasts I subscribe to did a feature one female heroes of the Marathon. You can listen to it here

The webpage to go with it has a great history and the episode itself highlights:

  • Bobbi Gibb who ran Boston unofficially
  • Katherine Switzer  who ran Boston with a number
  • Grete Waitz who ran her first marathon in NY, winning it and taking the world record in the process
  • Joan Benoit Samuelson who won the first women's Olympic marathon
  • Paula Radcliffe who holds the world recordof 2:15:25 (and listen out for the pronunciation of Loughborough)

There's a men's one too which is also interesting.

Joan Benoit Sameuelson

Women's Running Roundup 1/4/18 - Two Oceans, Maidenhead 10, CWG and Paris previews and more

It's time for another Women's running roundup - looking at events that have happened and previewing ones ahead. As always, let me know if there's anything I've missed or you want covering in the future.

Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon



Marathon (56k)

Won by South Africa’s 28yo Gerda Steyn (great Twitter account) I love the quote she gave : “I woke up this morning not planning to win, but just to run my best and stick to my plan”. Clearly that plan was perfect as she overtook Poland’s Stelmach within sight of the finish! It was Steyn’s second appearance at the race and Stelmach’s debut, so some strong performances. Steyn’s Marathon PB is 2:37:22 from Valencia last year. The course record still stands at 3:30:36, set by Frith van der Merwe (SA) in 1989

1. Gerda Steyn (03:39:31) - Nedbank Running Club Gauteng North
2. Dominika Stelmach (03:41:56) - Poland
3. Charne Bosman (03:45:20) - Nedbank Running Club Gauteng North

Half Marathon

Won by Cape Town’s Nolene Conrad - not long after getting 25th place at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships earlier this month. The

1. Nolene Conrad (01:16:17) - KPMG Running Club WP
2. Betha Chikanga (01:16:42) - Maxed Elite International (Zimbabwe)
3. Susy Chemaimak (01:17:01) - Nedbank RC International (Kenya)

European Master Indoors Athletics Championships (EMAIC)

EMIAC table


GB &NI came second in the medal table. Full results here

60m W35 Claire Spurway - 7.83
200m W35 Claire Spurway - 25.58
800m W35 Fiona De Mauny - 2:12:28
4x200m Relay W35 -  1:46:40 (FLOWERS Joanna - RILEY Hannah - MCLOUGHLIN Susie - SPURWAY Claire)
200m W40 Susie McLoughlin - 25.63
400m W40 Susie McLoughlin - 58.02 (MR)

800m W40 Lisa Palmer -Blount - 2.17.17
3000m W40 Lisa Palmer -Blount - 10.04.45

3000m W40 Louise Rudd - 10.27.61

Easter 10 - Maidenhead

Won by Melanie Wilkins of  Winchester and District AC in  57:52  - 38 th place OA
2nd place  to Amy Clements of Kent AC in 58:21 - 42nd place OA

Full results

Dorset Ooser (took place Sunday 1st - no results online yet)
Alexander the Great Marathon, Greece - awaiting results online

look ahead

15/4 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Marathon
7.20am local time. 10:20pm on the 14th UK time. Official details here.
Aly Dixon and Sonia Samuels are at the preparation camp in Brisbane after Sonia had a stop off in Adelaide with husband Nick as they celebrated their wedding anniversary  - see her blog here.

Sonia SAmuels

and Aly has been finding the humidity hard

 but has been out recce-ing the course with National coach Dr Andi Drake

7/4 - Centurion’s South Downs Way 50 -  5700ft elevation. Starting in Worthing and finishing in Eastbourne, this 50 mile race has a women's course record of 7:09:21 set in 2014 by Edwina Sutton.


This year’s field is strong though, so the record may fall. Doctor Sarah Morwood (spartathlon profile // twitter // ultra running interview)  , who holds the second fastest time, has to be favourite. After winning SDW 100 last year, a top 10 finish at Spartalthon and re-selection for the GB Trail Team (where she will represent her country in Portugal in May) she looks like a pretty safe bet even despite starting the year with hamstring tendinopathy. Other contenders are Kim Cavill - Hardmoors winner and Lakeland 2nd place runner, Annabelle Stearns - who has 2x 2nd place on the SDW 100, and Charley Jennings - 50mile Centurion Slam record holder.

8/4 Greater Manchester Marathon

Other than Gemma Hockett, there’ll be plenty more running it - more soon.

8/4 - Paris Marathon

Purity Rionoripo, last year’s winner doesn’t seem to be returning to defend her title after a recent DNF at Tokyo Marathon in February . 

Only 25% of entrants are women, compared to Boston Marathon which was 45% in 2017 and the UK marathon race average back in 2015 was 30% according to the Guardian.  The UK is the second highest participating county (unsurprisinlgly).

The full elite field is listed here , with Ethiopia’s Amane Gobena having the fastest time (2:21:51) to her name. Originally from Kenya but based in France since 2003,  the 2008 winner Martha Komu has the fastest European time of the elites (2:25:33). I’m particularly interested in her as she competed in her home county at XC and road, then moved to Europe ansd after a maternity break in 2005, she returned to competition in 2006 and won the Mont Saint-Michel marathon, her debut marathon.

15/4 Brighton Marathon


16/14 - Boston Marathon (cracking field, though lacking in any GB athletes - more about this soon)

22/4  - London Marathon (WR attempt  - more about this soon)