Bedford is expecting a special race as he says a new course record won’t be enough to win
April 18, 2013
On Wednesday, the Virgin London marathon released a video where long-time race director Dave Bedford, who now serves as the elite athlete coordinator, breaks down the 2013 men’s field.
This year’s London race is a special one and even with the withdrawal of two-time World Champion Abel Kirui, it may be the greatest men’s marathon field ever assembled as you have the current Olympic champion facing off versus the current course record holders at all the World Marathon Majors.
In the race are the fastest marathoner ever Geoffery Mutai (2:03:03 on the aided Boston course), the world record holder Patrick Makau, the Olympic Champion Stephen Kiprotich, the London course record holder Emmanuel Mutai, the Chicago course record holder Tsegay Kebede, and the guy who arguably is the world #1 in the marathon right now, last year’s London champ and the Olympic bronze medallist Wilson Kipsang.
We’ve embedded the video below for your convenience but to save you time we have also transcribed Bedford’s comments. It’s clear that Bedford thinks the 2013 race is going to be special.
Come back late on Friday for our 2013 London Marathon previews.
On 2012 Olympic Champion Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda:
Stephen Kiprotich will find the toughest field he’s ever had (to face). It’s a tougher field in my opinion than what he met at the Olympics. The question as to whether he can 2:04 or even 2:03 – I think is a big question – and I think if the weather is half-decent he will have to go that fast to win.
On Defending Champion and Olympic Bronze Medallist, Wilson Kipsang: Wilson Kipsang is an interesting situation. In most people’s books, he should be the Olympic champion. He was clearly a class above other people going in. He misjudged the race at the London Olympics amazingly and got beat. When you look back at his running London last year, you must say he’s a hot favorite and I think he’ll be there when the race shakes out towards the end.
On Boston and New York Course Record Holder Geoffrey Mutai:
In my mind, Geoffrey Mutai is the person who is the person who is my own favorite. His (2:03:02) run in Boston in favorable downhill (LetsRun.com note: and downwind) was astounding but I think his run in New York where he lowered their course record on a very difficult course really, really showed the kind of person he is. If he’s fit, and he tells me he’s fit, then I think he’ll be very close to winning and probably will.
The other thing about Geoffrey Mutai is that he’s still hurting from the fact that he wasn’t selected to be on the Kenyan team for the Olympics and I think this gives him an additional opportunity to show the people who didn’t select him that that was a mistake.
On London course record holder (2:04:40) Emmanuel Mutai who also is a World Champ runner-up and 2-time NY runner-up:
Emmanuel Mutai is a past champion, a great athlete. He can perform well. I’m not certain he’s a winner. I understand he’s in good shape and I think that he could probably go faster than his own course bast but that won’t be good enough to win.
On World Record Holder Patrick Makau:
We’ve got Patrick Makau in the field as well – the world record holder. He clearly has class. He is saying to people, “The world record is going to go here.” He thinks there is enough talk among the other Kenyans in particular to say, “Let’s have a go at this, let’s bring it down.” He’s clearly got the legs for it. He’ll be there when it shakes out at the end.
On 2010 London and 2012 Chicago winner and 2008 Olympic bronze medallist Tsegay Kebede:
Tsegay Kebede is the strongest Ethiopian in the race. He’s won London before. He will be looking to stop the Kenyan domination that has been in London for a little while. As a past winner, he knows what to expect. He’s a great competitor. He had a wonderful battle some years ago with Samuel Wanjiru in Chicago which really showed the kind of tough person he is. We’ll see him battling all the way.