SCOTS have been selected for three of Great Britain’s ten elite places for the Virgin London Marathon on 21 April.
Freya Ross, Susan Partridge and Derek Hawkins will aim to use the race to prove themselves worthy of a place at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow later this year, and could also post qualifying times for next year’s Commonwealth Games.
Both Ross and Hawkins have already run inside the qualifying times set by British Athletics for the world championships – 2hrs 14.30mins for men, and 2hrs 31mins for women. Partridge, who was 24th in the last world championships in Daegu, will be out to improve on her personal best of 2:34.13, set in London a couple of years ago.
Hawkins has been the Scottish cross-country champion for the past two years, but moved up to the marathon in October and made an excellent debut of 2:14.04 over the distance in Frankfurt. Ross made her marathon debut in London last April and clocked 2.28.10 – the second best in history by a Scottish woman, bettered only by Liz McColgan.
Ross then replaced the injured Paula Radcliffe at the London Olympics, and was the first Briton home. Still the world record-holder for the marathon, Radcliffe will not compete in London this year, and backed Ross to continue her early progress in the event.
“Freya stepped in for the Olympic marathon at a late stage and I felt under all the circumstances performed very well,” Radcliffe said.
“She didn’t know until a couple of weeks beforehand that she would be running, but she came in and proved the best of the Brits on the day and is showing she can handle making that step up. Altitude training in Boulder [Colorado] will set her up brilliantly for the London Marathon, and I think Freya has a good future ahead of her now at that distance.
“To have three Scots getting elite entries for London looks very promising for the Scottish endurance scene,” continued Radcliffe, who was in Glasgow last month to watch the British Athletics International at the Emirates Arena.
“Obviously with Glasgow 2014 around the corner and the selection period open, then people are going to start looking to get that. It is a great incentive.
“In terms of the women, there is a little bit of a new guard coming in with Mara Yamauchi announcing her retirement. It could open up a wee bit [for the world championships] and Freya and Susan Partridge will be hoping that’s the case.”