Now that the start list for the women's marathon on Sunday 12th at the European (Athletics) Championship in Berlin has been published here, who are the top contenders? I've sorted them by PB and covered the top 5 and GB athletes. My thought remains the same as I mentioned in this week's Women's Running Roundup - I am plumping for Lily as GB's top runner. What do you think? Also, if you want to add any thoughts or info to this post, send it over and I'll add it in (crowd sourcing the preview!)
The lady who famously ran the second half of London Marathon in a rather swift negative split which was also half marathon PB for her. LetsRun.com commented on it here and Mara Yamauchi was vocal about it too, though her blog post about the performance has since been removed. Volha went on to come 5th at the Rio Olympics. It’s worth noting too that London Marathon confirmed that Volha passed all testing and is also subject to out of competition testing Olympics so it's not fair to make sweeping statements but it's an interesting note to the story.
Nee, nee, dit is geen rondje joggen op de baan. Alhoewel het veelal wel zo voelde. Vandaag was de teampresentatie voor/van/met (bijna) alle EK-gangers op Papendal. En ik draaide nog hier nog even een lekkere baantraining. Het EK atletiek vindt plaats van 6 t/m 12 aug in Berlijn @papendal #teampresentatie #TeamNL #EKatletiek #BerlinEM2018 #marathon #12augustus2018 📸@dennislicht
4th dutch woman of all time and ran her PB to finish 5th at the 2015 Berlin marathon, she is currently crowd funding via her website in order to get to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. More recently she ran 2:31 at London 2017 but had a less successful outing at the Rio Olympics coming 60th in 2:40
BLR IVANOVA Nastassia
Season's best: 2:28:03
Ran 2:28:03 at the Warsaw marathon in april so is clearly in good shape, but as always, it’s interesting whether it’s too soon for another top notch race.
The fastest PB in the GB team (set in 2015 like Nastassia from Belarus) and one of the more experienced of the GB team.Recently ran 2:36:59 in a very hot Commonwealth games marathon so it would be a shame if that’s taken it out of her, but her social media seems to imply that’s not a consideration.
Ran a big PR of 1:12:44 in the Berlin half marathon this year so she’s a strong contender with the home crowd on her side. Having worked her way from a 2:57 marathon in 2007 to sitting around the 2:28/29 mark for the last two years, maybe this is the one?
After a 2:29:11 in London last year and a swift 1:11:21 PB in Valencia for the half marathon earlier in the year Charlotte is definitely on the up. Not loads to work off for predictions but it’ll be interesting to see if her and Lily work together or play it solo. She’s also just launched her own coaching company.
Ran her PB at London earlier this year so more recent form to work off than Charlotte but has had a little injury in between. My gut says she’s got the grit to get out there and take it on. She also recently signed with Adidas and is organising a running camp with ultra runner Susie Chan. I’m never sure if stuff like that is good or bad - it could be distracting but it’s also often good for runners to have other things to focus on and shows a passion to share the sport because they love it so much.
Another runner with a half marathon PB set earlier this year in Valencia and having worked her way from 2:59 marathons to happily sitting around the 30ish mark for the last few years she’s got loads of experience (6 marathons) and is pretty consistent
Having run the the hot commonwealth games in the gold coast Caryl is working hard to make the most of her GB places. She also works as a farmer and accountant in wales and as we’ve seen with Dewi Griffiths, that farming life seems to work well for marathoners. I reckon she’ll be going out with a bit of fire in the belly!