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."
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.