In an elite-only field, Saucony athletes Molly Seidel and Jared Ward will toe the line on October 4th to show London and the world that these shoes weren’t made for chasing personal bests ꟷ they were made for smashing them. In February, racing in the Endorphin Pro, Seidel made her first Olympic team in her 26.2 debut when she finished second at the U.S. Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials. For Ward, a 2016 Olympian, London will be his first major marathon since the Men’s Trials. Seidel and Ward are part of a quartet of Americans invited to join the star-studded field for the 40th running of the London Marathon and the first to have elite-only races.
The London Marathon, originally scheduled to run in April, is the first World Marathon Major to take place since the coronavirus was declared a global pandemic on March 11. Due to the pandemic, the elite races at the 2020 London Marathon will be held in a biosecure bubble over 19 laps on a 2.15K-closed course around St. James’s Park, plus an extra 1,345 meters to the iconic finish line on The Mall. To keep the competition secure, no spectators will be allowed on the course.
“This is an incredible opportunity for Molly and Jared to compete against a world-class field on a world-class stage in a year when most events have been postponed or cancelled,” said Anne Cavassa, president of Saucony. “The men’s and women’s fields are packed with the best talent in the world and we know that Molly and Jared are ready for the challenge, both in their preparation and gear. And because world-class talent needs world-class shoes, they’ll be racing in the Endorphin Pro. Molly and Jared worked alongside our team of designers and engineers to develop the shoe which makes running fast feel easier. Molly and Jared continue to inspire us with their grit and goodness, and we are can’t wait to cheer them on.”
“There are so few racing opportunities right now, so I’m thankful that London will give me a chance to learn more about the marathon and progress,” said Seidel. “I’m inexperienced at the distance so I wanted to get another race in and learn as much as I can before the Olympics next summer. This is going to be a very fast, very competitive, very different situation from Atlanta, which played to my strengths as a hilly and tactical race. Still, if you put in the work and show up to the start line, I believe anything can happen on the day.”
“I committed to London in August, just 7 weeks ahead of the race,” said Ward. “This has been an unconventional marathon buildup for me, to say the least. I usually like to have 3 to 4 months to get ready for a marathon; this time, I got 7 weeks. But I’m focusing my energy on what I can control. The course will certainly be the fastest I have ever run on for a marathon, and I’d love to set my lifetime personal record.”
When Seidel, 26, ran 2:27 at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, she became the youngest American woman to make an Olympic marathon team since 1992. A 2015 graduate of the University of Notre Dame, the Wisconsin native became the first woman to win the national cross-country championships in both high school and college, in 2011 and 2015, respectively. Seidel, who now lives in Boston, is coached by Jon Green, a former two-time top-10 finisher at NCAA XC while at Georgetown University.
Ward, 32, placed third in the 2016 US Olympic Trials and finished in sixth place at the Rio Olympics later that year. In 2019, he ran a personal best in Boston, finishing in 2:09, and then in Houston, at the half marathon in January of 2020, he was the first American man to cross the line in a PR of 1:01:36.
Ward lives in Provo, Utah and is coached by two-time Olympic marathoner Ed Eyestone.
The Endorphin Pro, Saucony’s first carbon-plated shoe, features SpeedRoll™, the brand’s proprietary always-forward geometry. The Endorphin Pro delivers a propulsive ride that makes running fast feel easier. Seidel will be racing in the Endorphin Pro VIZIPRO women’s colorway and Ward in the VIZIPRO men’s colorway.