Paula Radcliffe’s world marathon record of 2:15:25, set at the London Marathon in 2003, has looked safe for over a decade now.
The closest anyone has come to beating that record was in 2017 when Mary Keitany of Kenya ran 2:17:01 at the same event. Ruth Chepngetich, also Kenyan, set a time of 2:17:08 at the Dubai Marathon.
The 2019 London Marathon, however, does offer one of the best chances of shaving time off that record. But who are the elites in with a chance?
London Marathon 2019: Elite women challenging the record
In the women’s race, defending champion Vivian Cheruiyot, 35, is gearing up for a battle against three-time winner and fellow Kenyan Mary Keitany, who has also won four times in New York.
“We are friends, but when it comes to the race we have to fight, we have to be rivals,” said Cheruiyot, the reigning Olympic women’s champion over 5000 metres.
Keitany, 37, is delighted to be back in London.
“It means a lot to me and it’s not something I take for granted. It’s very special to me and my family,” she said.
“If I win on Sunday, it would be special too. I have won New York four times and London three times, so I want to win on Sunday to match.
Keitany and Cheruiyot’s PBS and other achievements
The time of 2:17:01 set by Mary Keitany in 2017 is a women-only marathon world record.
The course record, as already mentioned, belongs to Paula Radcliffe.