Scottish star Eilish McColgan will make her TCS London Marathon debut in 2022 – 26 years after her mum Liz famously won the 1996 edition of the race.
Excitement has been building around McColgan’s marathon debut after a series of incredible races on the road over the past few years that has seen her set new British records for 5K, 10K and 10 miles.
She will join a stacked elite women’s field for the 2022 TCS London Marathon on Sunday 2 October that also includes world record holder Brigid Kosgei (KEN), defending champion Joyciline Jepkosgei (KEN), the fastest-ever female marathon debutant Yalemzerf Yehualaw (ETH) and British number one Charlotte Purdue.
McColgan, who has prepared for her marathon debut by pacemaking at the past two London Marathons, said: “I’m so excited to finally be taking part in the TCS London Marathon. I’ve been looking forward and planning the step up to the marathon distance over the past number of years and this year’s London Marathon comes at the perfect time after a busy summer on the track.
“Obviously, the London Marathon holds a very special place in the heart of my family with my mum’s win in 1996. I don’t actually remember the race myself, but I’ve seen the finish many times down the years. I’m now looking forward to experiencing it for myself.”
World record holder Kosgei returns to London looking to win her third TCS London Marathon crown after victories in 2019 and 2020. The Kenyan, who set the world record of 2:14:04 in Chicago in 2019, finished a surprise fourth last year but bounced back to win this year’s Tokyo Marathon in a world-leading time of 2:16:02.
The 2021 champion Jepkosgei – a former world record holder over the half marathon distance and winner of the 2019 New York City Marathon – ran a personal best of 2:17:43 to win last year’s London Marathon, the fastest time in the world in 2021, while 22-year-old Yehualaw is the current 10K world record holder (29:14) and ran 2:17:23 to win the Hamburg Marathon in April, the fastest marathon debut ever.
Ethiopian duo Degitu Azimeraw and Ashete Bekere, who finished second and third last year, also return. Bekere finished second behind Kosgei at this year’s Tokyo Marathon in a PB of 2:17:58.
In total, the field contains nine women who have run inside 2:20.
Alongside McColgan, British interest will be led by Purdue, who will run her third marathon of the year in London after a ninth-placed finish at April’s Boston Marathon and her scheduled run at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon.
Purdue became the fourth-fastest British female marathon runner of all time last year when she ran 2:23:26 at the 2021 London Marathon to finish 10th overall.
Steph Twell and Rose Harvey, the sixth and 10th-fastest Brits of all time over the marathon distance, and Samantha Harrison, are also among the leading UK talent signed up.
Hugh Brasher, Event Director of the TCS London Marathon, said: “The elite women’s field at this year’s TCS London Marathon has so many incredible storylines. We’re all looking forward to watching Eilish McColgan follow in her mum Liz’s footsteps and seeing if she can translate her incredible form over the shorter distances on the road to the marathon.
“But we’ve also got a mouthwatering battle between two great champions, Brigid Kosgei and Joyciline Jepkosgei. Kosgei showed she is back to her best form with her win in Tokyo earlier this year, but Jepkosgei looked incredibly confident during her win here last year.
“Finally, there’s the intrigue of seeing how Charlotte Purdue, who just gets better and better, will perform in her third marathon of the year.”
The elite women’s field is the first of the 2022 TCS London Marathon Elite Week announcements. The elite wheelchair athlete fields will be announced tomorrow (Wednesday 6 July) and the elite men’s field on Thursday (7 July).
2022 TCS London Marathon elite women’s field
Brigid KOSGEI (KEN): Marathon Personal best – 2:14:04 (WR)
Yalemzerf YEHUALAW (ETH): 2:17:23
Joyciline JEPKOSGEI (KEN): 2:17:43
Degitu AZIMERAW (ETH): 2:17:58
Ashete BEKERE (ETH): 2:17:58
Joan Chelimo MELLY (ROU): 2:18:04
Sutume Asefa KEBEDE (ETH): 2:18:12
Alemu MEGERTU (ETH): 2:18:51
Hiwot GEBREKIDAN (ETH): 2:19:10
Ababel YESHANEH (ETH): 2:20:51
Mary NGUGI (KEN): 2:21:32
Charlotte PURDUE (GBR): 2:23:26
Reia IWADE (JPN): 2:23:52
Stephanie TWELL (GBR): 2:26:40
Rose HARVEY (GBR): 2:27:20
Marci KLIMEK (USA): 2:30:48
Samantha HARRISON (GBR): 2:32:22
Anna BRACEGIRDLE (GBR): 2:34:20
Emma STYLES (GBR): 2:37:36
Girmawit GEBRZIHAIR (ETH): Debut
Eilish McCOLGAN (GBR): Debut