Mary Keitany, Tirunesh Dibaba To Chase World Record At London Marathon

It's hard to imagine a 26.2-mile race topping the drama of Monday's Boston Marathon, but the high-profile athletes assembled in London and lofty goals vocalized for this Sunday's Virgin Money London Marathon indicate that track fans may very well get two of the best marathons ever in a span of six days. 

Canadian Viewers Can Watch The 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon Live On FloTrack!

The longest-standing women's distance world record turns 15 this year—the untouchable 2:15:25 recorded by Paula Radcliffe at the 2003 London Marathon. Two challengers, 36-year-old Mary Keitany of Kenya and 32-year-old Tirunesh Dibaba of Ethiopia, both of whom are widely considered to be two of the top distance women in sporting history, will give Radcliffe's record a go this weekend at the same site.

Last year, the same duo raced with big results: Keitany set the women's-only world record of 2:17:01 and Dibaba became the third woman in history to break 2:18 with a 2:17:56 runner-up finish. 

This year, male pacesetters will assist Keitany in her stated goal to break Radcliffe's record, which was also set with the aid of male pacesetters—thus the differentiation between her overall world record and Keitany's women's-only mark. Dibaba has also said she will be in the world record hunt is the conditions cooperate.

The key to setting a new record will be patience.

Last year, Keitany ran 44 seconds faster through 10K (31:17 vs 32:01) and 1:08 faster through the half marathon (66:54 vs 68:02) than Radcliffe did in her world-best performance.

Keitany's pace dropped off after the half marathon, as her pacer Caroline Chepkoech dropped out at that mark. Dibaba was also already a minute behind her rival at that point in the race, though she has said she is better prepared for the hot early start this year. 

Race organizers in London have not yet announced the identities of the male pacers, nor how long they are instructed to run, but it's fair to assume they will last longer on the course than Chepkoech.

Keitany showcased her 2018 fitness with a runner-up finish at the RAK Half Marathon in 64:55, a time that made her the third-fastest women's half marathoner in world history.

Dibaba has not raced since winning the Chicago Marathon last fall in 2:18:31.

Read notes from the London Marathon women's press conference here.

Five Burning Questions For The 2019 World Cross Country Championships


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The 43rd edition of the IAAF World Cross Country Championships is this Saturday, March 30, in Aarhus, Denmark. A hilly and eclectic 10,000m course awaits the senior men and women, and below I’ve tried my best to answer five of the most pressing questions entering this weekend’s championship races.

Holloway Debuts, Kenny B's Back, Another ASU Star Thrower Emerges

It’s still the early days of the outdoor season, with athletes regrouping from the indoors and slowly trickling into the spring season. This weekend’s action was light, especially compared to next weekend’s trifecta of big meets at Stanford, Florida and Texas, but there were some notable results.

Talented ADP Squad Likes World XC Medal Chances On Tough Aarhus Course


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When Shadrack Kipchirchir lines up for the 2019 IAAF World Cross Country Championships on March 30 in Aarhus, Denmark, the 30-year-old American is hoping for the nastiest weather that the Danish city can provide.

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Here's Why USATF Honoring World Rankings Would Be A Disaster

Earlier this week we published an opinion stating why it is a good thing for USATF to use time standards as the only means to guarantee a spot on the 2020 U.S. Olympic team. Our main reason was based on the fact that the new world rankings are unfair, but more importantly, the world rankings make the selection process even worse.

CAS Delays Semenya Decision Until Late April

The Court of Arbitration for Sport announced on Thursday that they will push back a ruling in the case involving Caster Semenya until late April. 

House Of Run: Everything To Be Excited About In The Outdoor Season

Jason and Kevin discuss the 42 most interesting storylines heading into the outdoor season. How healthy is Wayde Van Niekerk? Who will be the top women's 1500m runner? Can the Jamaican men win a sprint medal? What will Eliud Kipchoge do for an encore? Will this be the year of the 400m hurdles?

The Best Track And Field Athlete From Every NCAA Tournament School

The 2019 NCAA DI Men’s Basketball Tournament begins this week, and in honor of March Madness we’ve selected the best track and field athlete— past or present— from each of the tournament’s 68 schools (minus Old Dominion, who does not have a track team; get a track team Old Dominion). Some of the names below are NCAA track and field legends from major programs. Others on this list never even qualified for the NCAA Championships. The 68 here ran the gamut, from Olympic heroes to mere school record holders.

Why LetsRun Is Wrong & USATF Is Right About Olympic Qualifying

Last week, the IAAF announced its new qualification process for the 2020 Olympic Games, which included tougher entry standards and new computerized world rankings. The reaction was intense as some media outlets painted an apocalyptic worldview for U.S. athletics. In reality, it’s not that dramatic.

Cal Coach Tony Sandoval To Retire

Tony Sandoval, the director of track and field and cross country at Cal, will retire at the conclusion of the outdoor season. Sandoval spent 37 years at the university, beginning as the head women’s coach in 1982. 

Six Reasons We're Looking Forward To The NCAA Outdoor Track Season

As exciting as 200-meter ovals and banked curves are, we’re ready for the unpredictable weather, sprint relays and 10K races of spring track season. Here’s a few reasons to get excited for NCAA outdoor track and field.