Trust us, the 26.2-mile race on Sunday is totally worth the early wakeup call.
The London Marathon always delivers a lot of drama. For starters, it’s where the women’s world records were set. On Sunday, the tradition continues, featuring the defending champion, the fastest woman to run 26.2 miles without male pacers, and two Americans who seem primed for impressive showings. In short: It’s a race you don’t want to miss.
Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya is back to see if she can make it two victories in a row. And Mary Keitany, the Kenyan who in 2017 set the marathon world record for a women’s-only race (2:17:01), is also competing, coming back from her fourth win at the New York City Marathon, where she blistered the last half of the course in 1:06:58.
Training partners Molly Huddle and Emily Sisson will also be on the starting line, with hopes of finishing faster than 2:24. It’s Huddle’s fourth marathon and Sisson’s first try at the distance. Should Sisson break 2:23:00, she’ll earn the honors of America’s fastest women’s debut, set by Jordan Hasay at the 2017 Boston Marathon.
On the men’s side, Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya, the marathon world-record holder (2:01:39), is going for his fourth London title. Mo Farah of Great Britain, the quadruple Olympic gold medalist in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters and 2018 Chicago Marathon (2:05:11) champion, is also scheduled to race among a field of seven men who have broken 2:05.
Be sure to set the timer on the coffee maker before you go to bed: the women’s professional race goes off at 4:25 a.m. Eastern on Sunday. Here’s how to watch:
• NBC will start broadcasting at 4 a.m. Eastern on Sunday. Channels carrying coverage include the Olympic Channel, NBC Sports Gold, and NBCSports.com/live
• Women’s Running will provide updates of significant race moments via Twitter and a recap at WomensRunning.com