WORLD ATHLETICS CHAMPS MARATHON PREVIEW, Spartahlon live, Russia might miss out on the Olympics, last weekend's results,

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From 21:59-01:11 on the BBC Red Button or Sports website you can watch the World Athletics Champhionships Marathon in Doha tonight.


It’s the first final of the championships and there was a risk it would be even later if temperatures were predicted to be above 30c but the organisers have confirmed that thanks for a positively chilly (!) 28c forecast they will start at the scheduled time. 

As far as I’m concerned, Ruth Chepngetich stands out as an obvious winner not only because of her season’s best and personal best of 2:17:08 being a full 1m 30s faster than anyone else in the field, but she’s  also run a course record in the heat of Dubai Marathon in the past. Now, If you’re wondering why you haven’t heard more of her then you should take a glance at the comments made by in the article below. I  will just note that she has the same coach of Jemima Sumgong , the 2016 Olympic Champion who recently had her doping ban increased to eight years. 

I would say Roza Dereje is a good shout for a strong time too - she came 3rd in London in April and ran 2:19 in Dubai last year. 

Looking at the podium from 2017 in London:

Gold -  Rose Chelimo - has only run 2:30:35 this season and her PB is a 2:24:14. Not looking great.
Silver - Edna Kiplagat - she’s older but really experienced and won in 2011 and 2013. That would normally ring bells that she might be past her best and it’s a while since she had a PB but I really want her to do to well and I dunno - I reckon she’s still got it!

Bronze - Amy Cragg - not competing this year 

Ruti Aga and Lonah Salpeter feature in the LetsRun preview so I’ll let you read about them there. Obviousely for me, I’m interested to see what Charlie Purdue does. She’s certainly on fine form at the moment. I just have no idea at all how the heat and odd racing time will affect her. I don’t think though that she would risk this chance if she wasn’t sure she could do something impressive. She could have opted for a Berline or US Major place but she didn’t , so I reckon she’ll be wanting AT LEAST a top ten spot to improve no her London placing of 13th. Sadly GB’s other athlete Tish Jones has pulled out with an injury.

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Sarah Doessena of Italy will be another interesting one to watch. She has a 2:24:00 PB set in Nagoya in March this year which was a HUGE jump from her previous 2:27:53 in 2018

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Roberta Groner is top of the US pack - and talks of how she’s been running at nearly midnight the last two nights in preparation. She notes that though it was around 30 c (90 f ) it feels a lot worse because of the humidity.

Oh and remember the lady who got a massive nose bleed in the European Marathon Championships in Berlin? She’s back too - the Belarussian Volha Mazuronak 

You can see the full start list in a fileterable format here have a preview here:

SPARTATHLON - happening now!

You can track Sarah Sawyer by Search for Bib Number #11 at or watch live: 


More of a preview coming soon but the media pack can be found here:



She’s raced a fair bit in China but she’s never won a race there, so Ethiopia’s Marta Lema Megra must be pretty chuffed to have won Hengshui Lake International Marathon. She did so with a comfortable lead and plenty of slack on a new course record too, finishing over over a minute ahead of the previous fastest time. Askale Alemayehu Adula set a personal best to come second. However, I’m more interested in the return of Tirfi Tsegaye Beyene. Beyene is an Olympian. She ran 2:20:14 in Berlin in 2014 and won the Dubai Marathon in 2016 in 2:19:41. She was 4th at the Olympic Games the same year. She’s had 4 years off for maternity (which is an unusually long time these days) and this was her first competitive race back.

  1. Marta Lema MEGRA,  ETH 2:24:21

  2. Askale Alemayehu ADULA, ETH 2:27:32

  3. Tirfi Tsegaye BEYENE, ETH 2:28:30


  1. Marfa Troeva Russia RUS 2:54:12

  2. Gina Elisabeth Mathisen NOR 2:56:33

  3. Mari Gjølberg Ålerud NOR 2:59:35


  1.  Ковалева Марина, RUS 2:29:26

  2. Дмитриева Луиза RUS, 2:34:13

  3. Лебедева Людмила, RUS 2:36:57


Sally Ford is a 2:57 V40 marathoner but also a nifty trail and ultra runner. She was a way off the winning time last year of 2:53:30 but a win is a win!

  1. Sally Ford, Kendal AC 03:17:38

  2. Joey Armitage , Vegan Runners UK 03:19:57

  3. Sammy Bunce Formula One Circuit Crew 03:23:59



Having reached the end of a  three year ban from WADA (World Anti Doping) last September, the Russian Anti-Doping organisation RUSADA was, somewhat controversially, made a legitimate body again. That meant that Russian athletes were free to compete in the World Athletics Championships and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Well, that might be about to change again. Data which was transferred from RUSADA’s Moscow laboratories in January to WADA for checking had thrown up some inconsistencies. Canadian Running and Inside The Games  reports that there were ‘ differences between the Laboratory Information Management System database provided by a whistleblower in October 2017 and the version WADA extracted from the facility in January’ and that there doesn’t seem to be an innocent explanation for those discrepancies. It is thought that positive test results might have been removed.  The Russian sports minister Pavel Kolobkov has said that they will assist fully in the investigations, but if the situation isn’t resolved positively within three weeks, athletes that thought they were going to compete in the Olympics could be left unable to go, because Russia would be banned. PLus of course there’s the shadow of it all hanging over Doha this coming week. Russian athletes are already talking about the possibility of going abroad to train and therefore be covered by foreign anti-doping processes. 

I’m not an expert in this situation, but confusingly it seems that the data under debate is from the 2011-2015 period, which was what caused them to be suspended. They are trying to work out if it was changed to try and cover things up. So while all that is going on, it looks like the  Institute of National Anti-Doping Organizations (iNADO) which combines all the Anti-Doping agencies is largely supportive of RUSADA in its current form (if you agree with this - I don’t know how legit they are as a source). Got it? No, me neither.  Sigh.


Krista DuChene, who came 3rd in Boston Marathon last year, is excited about Berlin Marathon. She was eligible for the World Champs but I reckon it’s probably a better deal running Berlin. Anyway, aparently she’s had a storming build up and is looking to do great things:  It would be exciting to see her better her 2:38:32 PB from 2013.