London Marathon 2019: More than just one of the top five world marathon majors, the London Marathon is a celebratory sporting festival that attracts professional athletes, enthusiastic joggers and costume-wearing charity fundraisers from all over the world.
The London Marathon is known for the deepest fields of all the annual major marathons. This year is no exception. Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge will race his first 26.2-miler since shattering the world record by 78 seconds in Berlin on Sept. 16 (2:01:39).
Kipchoge, on a modern-era record win streak of nine elite marathons, won his last three London starts, including setting the course record of 2:03:05 in 2016. Another world record on Sunday is a monumental ask, given Berlin is traditionally a faster course than London.
Kipchoge’s competition includes Britain’s four-time Olympic track champion Mo Farah and fellow Kenyans and past London winners Daniel Wanjiru and Wilson Kipsang.
Yet another Kenyan, Mary Keitany, also eyes a fourth London title. The 5-foot-2 soft speaker bagged either the London or New York City Marathons seven of the last eight years, with the outlier being 2013, when she gave birth to her second child.
Keitany’s greatest feat came in London in 2017, when she won in 2:17:01, erasing Paula Radcliffe‘s world record in a women’s only race by 41 seconds.
But last year, Keitany went out at world-record pace and was passed by yet another Kenyan mom, Vivian Cheruiyot, in the 23rd mile in London. Cheruiyot, a four-time Olympic track medalist, returns to defend her title Sunday.
The top two U.S. runners are Molly Huddle, in her London debut, and Emily Sisson, in her marathon debut. Both are jockeying for position among the deepest group of American female marathoners in history with the Olympic Trials looming in 10 months.
2019 London Marathon runners will have to pay a £39 fee to help cover the cost of staging the race and will ensure that you have a goodie bag full of all the essentials, like water and vaseline, at the start of the race.