Because of Covid-19 the London Marathon 2020 was firstly delayed from April to October 4th, until it was decided than this edition would be uniquely for elite runners. With the Olympics in Tokyo delayed until 2021, the London Marathon has gained momentum among the top marathoners in the world trying to shine this season.

The other marathon we think could be of interest for elite runners is the Valencia Marathon, on December 6th. With a very fast course it may offer many athletes the chance to get a qualifying time for Tokyo 2021. Nowadays the qualification standard is 2.11.30 for men and 2.29.30 for women.

Back in London, and with the “amateurs” out of the scene everything has been overshadowed by the duel between two of the greatest figures in the marathon scene: world-record holder Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya 1984) with 2.01.39 (Berlin Marathon 2018) and Kenenisa Bekele (Ethiopia 1982), with the second-fastest time ever, 2.01.41 (Berlin Marathon 2019).

We also did our poll a few months ago asking which of them was favourite for the victory in London 2020, with victory for Kipchoge, as in many other polls around the web.

After such a long wait the question has become tiring. Many more athletes are going to run this marathon, besides these two super athletes. Even more, there is also a woman race!

Yes, Kipchoge and Bekele are great, but many more marathoners are going to run next week, and they are not doing it only for fun. We are going to do a brief summary of some of the other runners competing in London. They also deserve to be considered for the final victory.


Mosinet Geremew (Ethiopia 1992). PB 2.02.55. 2nd position in Chicago 2018 and London 2019; 3rd in Berlin 2017. 2nd in 2019 Doha World Championships. 4th best marathon time ever.

Marius Kipserem (Kenya 1988). PB 2.04.11.

Mule Wasihum (Ethiopia 1993). PB 2.03.16. 3rd in London 2019. 8th best marathon time ever.

Tamirat Tola (Ethiopia 1991). PB 2.04.06. 2nd in 2017 London World Championships.

Shura Kitata (Ethiopia 1996). PB 2.04.49. 2nd position in New York 2018 and London 2018.

Sondre Nordstad Moen (Norway 1991). PB 2.05.48.

Sisay Lemma (Ethiopia 1990). PB 2.03.36. 3rd position in Berlin 2019 and Tokyo 2020. 10th best marathon time ever.

With most favourites from Kenya and Ethiopia, we would also highlight a big team from UK. Running at home they will want to give a good impression. His best runner is Jonny Mellor, with a PB of 2.10.03 (Seville 2020). Other European runners to consider would be Daniele Meucci (Italy, PB 2.10.45) and Arne Gabius (Germany, PB 2.08.33).

From the Americas we could point out Jared Ward (USA, PB 2.09.25), Cam Levins (Canada, PB 2.09.25) and Juan Luis Barrios (Mexico, PB 2.10.55).

From Australia Brett Robinson (PB 2.10.55) and Peter Herzog (PB 2.10.57) would be the top contenders.

5 of the top-10 all-time best marathon times will be present in London.


Overshadowed by the men´s marathon, it is going to be also an interesting race.

The world record holder Brigid Kosgei (Kenya 1994) will be present. She broke the long-standing record from Paula Radcliffe in the 2019 Chicago Marathon with a time of 2.14.04. She is well experienced in London, where she won in 2019 and was 2nd in 2018. She is the clear favourite, but there are also top runners among the women.

A brief list of candidates for victory follows:

Ruth Chepngetich (Kenya 1994). PB 2.17.08. Winner of the 2019 Doha World Championships. 4th best marathon time ever.

Roza Derej (Ethiopia 1997). PB 2.18.30. 2nd position in Chicago 2018 and 3rd in London 2019. 9th best marathon time ever.

Vivian Cheruiyot (Kenya 1983). PB 2.18.31. Winner in London 2018 and 2nd in New York 2018 and London 2019. 10th best marathon time ever.

Degitu Azimeraw (Ethiopia 1999). PB 2.19.26.

Ashete Bekere (Ethiopia 1988). PB 2.20.14. Winner in Berlin 2019.

Alemu Megerte (Ethiopia 1997). PB 2.21.10.

Sara Hall (USA 1983). PB 2.22.16.

Sinead Diver (Australia 1977). PB 2.24.11.

Besides these athletes we could highlight from Portugal Carla Salome Rocha (PB 2.24.47) and Sara Caterina Ribeiro (2.26.39); from the USA Molly Seidel (2.27.31) and Lindsay Flanagan (PB 2.28.05); from South Africa Gerda Steyn (PB 2.27.48); from Australia Ellie Pashley (PB 2.26.21) and from Ukraine Darya Mykhaylova (PB 2.28.15).

All these athletes have PB below the 2.30.00 threshold and there will be 4 of the top-10 women in the all-time marathon rankings. Probably one of them is the next marathon winner.


The marathon is a gruelling event and often things don´t go according to plan. Maybe none of the favourites wins and it is the underdog who takes the advantage and steal the show.

Would you bet for any of the favourites or a newcomer for victory? Do you think that a WR will be broken?

Remember the schedule for next week:

07:15 – Elite women’s race

10:15 – Elite men’s race

Enjoy the show.

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