With eight women who have run under 2hrs and 20 minutes for the marathon toeing the starting line, the women’s race at the 2022 London Marathon could produce some fast times this weekend on Sunday the 2nd of October.
Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei, the defending champion, is back and will attempt to win a second London Marathon title in a powerful women’s elite field.
“Preparation has been going really well and I’m ready for Sunday. All has been going OK in training. It’s been the same but now I hope to do better than last year and even improve my personal best. According to my preparation, I’m ready to go faster. That’s my target,” Jepkosgei said during the elite women’s press conference on
With two world marathon major titles -2019 New York City and 2021 London Marathons- under her name, the 27-year-old Jepkosgei appear to be the favorite.
But, with the world record of 29:14 for the 10K and a time of 1:03:51 for the half marathon, the race between Yalemzerf Yehualaw and the defending champion will be thrilling to watch and none of them will be having an easy victory.
Yehualaw from Ethiopia is the second fastest on paper with a time of 2:17:23 that he ran to set a new course record in Hamburg last year. Before Tigist Assefa could run 2:15:37 at the Berlin Marathon this past weekend, Yehualaw’s was the fastest debut ever.
Interestingly, both Yehualaw and Jepkosgei held the women’s world records for the half marathon at different times. This could easily result in them registering some fast times for the marathon distance on Sunday.
After the withdrawal of the world record holder, Brigid Kosgei, her training partner under the same coach and management, Judith Korir who was set to be a pacemaker in the race has decided to run the full distance instead. Korir won a silver medal at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon this year and is also the reigning Paris Marathon champion.
Despite training for just one and half months for the London Marathon, Korir still hopes to better her personal best time here.
“After the World Championships I relaxed for three weeks, then one-and-a-half months ago I started to prepare to be a pacemaker here. So when I was told I was running the whole race I did not feel prepared. Now I am psychologically ready and excited to be racing,” said Korir
The other woman to watch out for in the race will be the 31-year-old Kenyan-born Romanian citizen, Joan Chelimo Melly.
“I do believe I am a sub 2:20 marathon runner, I know I have it in my legs and so my target this year will be to run under two hours and 20 minutes. Although I can’t say I will be going for that time in Seoul since I have never run on the course before and I can’t tell how tough the course will be,’ said Chelimo, whose personal best time was 2:20.57 when I interviewed her in April before she went to the Seoul Marathon and ran a personal best time and a new national record of 2:18:04 to win the women’s race. This puts her in the 9th position on the World athletics ranking.
One of the local runners that will attract interest from the home-ground fans will be Great Britain’s Charlotte Purdue. She has a personal best time of 2:23:26 which she set last year to finish in top ten, which was the second time she was finishing in the top ten positions in London after she did it in 2019.
“Last year, I ran 2:23 and was only tenth because there was so much depth in the field. It’s similar this year so it will be hard. I do want to do a fast time but I’d also like to finish higher up,” said the 31-year-old Purdue. “Sometimes London is just like a time trial race for me but I would like to be more competitive as well.
“I’d definitely love to run faster. Every year so far I’ve run quicker but realistically it’s not going to be two minutes quicker. But I would love to improve.
“I feel a lot stronger than last year with Boston in my legs and the World Championships build-up.
“It was good to have the London Marathon coming up as well so all the training for the World Champs wasn’t put to waste,” she said.