2013 Virgin London Marathon Field Released – Is This The Greatest Men’s Marathon Field in History?

By David Monti with LRC Commentary at Bottom
(c) 2013 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

(LetsRun.com’s editor note: David Monti is largely responsible for the elite athlete recruitment for the ING New York City Marathon. The headline above is LRC’s, not David’s.).

(25-Jan) — First-time race director Hugh Brasher has made a grand entrance by securing what is arguable  the best-ever elite field for the Virgin London Marathon, scheduled for Sunday, April 21. (Editor’s note: We received an email informing us that David Bedford is actually still in charge of recruiting and organizing the elite field.) World record holders, Olympic gold medalists, world champions, and champions of other World Marathon Majors events grace the field.

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The men’s contest is anchored by three of Kenya’s very best athletes: world record holder Patrick Makau (2:03:38), reigning London champion and Olympic bronze medalist Wilson Kipsang (2:03:42), and reigning World Marathon Majors points champion and 2012 BMW Berlin Marathon winner Geoffrey Mutai (2:03:02).  Remarkably, reigning Bank of America Chicago Marathon champion Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia (2:04:38), Olympic Marathon champion Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda (2:07:20), Olympic silver medalist and two-time world champion Abel Kirui of Kenya, and former Virgin London Marathon champions Emmanuel Mutai (2:04:40) and Martin Lel (2:05:15) of Kenya are supporting players.

“We’re delighted to welcome all three medalists from the London 2012 Olympic Marathon to this year’s Virgin London Marathon,” remarked Brasher through a prepared statement.  “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 boasts two-thirds of the 2012 Women’s Olympic Marathon podium, gold medalist Tiki Gelana of Ethiopia (2:18:58) and silver medalist Priscah Jeptoo of Kenya (2:20:14); bronze medalist Tatiana Arkhipova is pregnant and not available to race.  Three other excellent Kenyan women will also run: reigning world champion and 2010 ING New York City Marathon winner Edna Kiplagat (2:19:50), 2010 world half-marathon champion Florence Kiplagat (2:19:44), and two-time Olympian Lucy Kabuu (2:19:34).

Interestingly the best woman to enter the race has never run a marathon.  Three-time Olympic gold medalist Tirunesh Dibaba will make her marathon debut in London.  The eight-time world champion from Ethiopia won Britain’s Bupa Great North Run half-marathon last year in 1:07:35 in her longest road race to date.

(Editor’s note: The big absence in the women’s field is two-time defending champion Mary Keitany. Word also was released today that Keitany is pregnant expecting baby #2).


LetsRun.com‘s Comments: We always say London is the premiere marathon in the world in terms of competition and this field once again proves it. No matter how you look at it, the 2013 edition will be incredibly special. Is it possible to have a better field?

On the men’s side, you have the following:

    • All of the course record holders from all five of the major marathons – Berlin (Makau), Boston (G. Mutai), Chicago (T. Kebede), London (E. Mutai), New York (G. Mutai) – racing each other in their primes + the Olympic champion.
    • You have all three of the 2012 Olympic medallists.
    • 10 men are entered who have run 2:05:15 or faster and that doesn’t count the reigning Olympic champ.

On the women’s side, the debut at age 27 of arguably the greatest female distance runner in history, Tirunesh Dibaba, is enough to make a race. But the field also includes 4 of the 6 women who went sub 2:20 last year

Here are the full elite fields with personal best times:

Patrick Makau (Kenya) 2:03:38
Wilson Kipsang (Kenya) 2:03:42
Geoffrey Mutai (Kenya) 2:03:02
Ayele Abshero (Ethiopia) 2:04:23
Tsegaye Kebede (Ethiopia) 2:04:38
Emmanuel Mutai (Kenya) 2:04:40
Feyisa Lilesa (Ethiopia) 2:04:52
Abel Kirui (Kenya) 2:05:04
Stanley Biwott (Kenya) 2:05:12
Martin Lel (Kenya) 2:05:15
Deressa Chimsa (Ethiopia) 2:05:42
Marilson Gomes dos Santos (Brazil) 2:06:34
Stephen Kiprotich (Uganda) 2:07:20
Yared Asmeron (Eritrea) 2:07:27
Adil Annani (Morocco) 2:07:43
Marcin Chabowski (Poland) 2:10:07
Bunta Kuroki (Japan) 2:10:08
Tomas Abyu (Great Britain) 2:10:37
Scott Overall (Great Britain) 2:10:55
Derek Hawkins (Great Britain) 2:14:08
Phil Wicks (Great Britain) 2:15:38
Philip Anthony (Great Britain) 2:16:40
Mathew Bond (Great Britain) Debut

Tiki Gelana (Ethiopia) 2:18:58
Lucy Kabuu (Kenya) 2:19:34
Florence Kiplagat (Kenya) 2:19:44
Edna Kiplagat (Kenya) 2:19:50
Priscah Jeptoo (Kenya) 2:20:14
Meselech Melkamu (Ethiopia) 2:21:01
Atsede Baysa (Ethiopia)    2:22:03
Yukiko Akaba (Japan) 2:24:09
Remi Nakazato (Japan) 2:24:28
Jessica Augusto (Portugal) 2:24:33
Alevtina Biktimirova (Russia) 2:25:12
Mai Ito (Japan)    2:25:26
Nadia Ejjafini (Italy) 2:26:15
Rene Baillie (USA) 2:27:17
Olga Dubovskaya (Belarus) 2:28:08
Adriana Da Silva (Brazil) 2:29:17
Tirunesh Dibaba (Ethiopia) Debut
Joyce Chepkirui (Kenya)    Debut
Freya Murray Ross (Great Britain) 2:28:10
Amy Whitehead (Great Britain) 2:33:44
Susan Partridge (Great Britain) 2:34:13
Helen Clitheroe (Great Britain) Debut

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