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The 2023 running of the London Marathon takes place this Sunday, October 2. Domestically, it appears that three British women could put themselves in good stead to make the British team for the 2023 World Athletics Championships taking place in Budapest, Hungary August 19 to 27.

Charlotte Purdue, Steph Twell, and Rose Harvey are the three British favourites.

Purdue has run as fast as 2:23:26, which she accomplished during the 2021 London Marathon. Of the three marathons she has started during 2022, she did not finish two but came away from the Boston Marathon with a ninth place 2:25:26 performance. Purdue was left off the Tokyo Olympic team by UK Athletes. Apparently, the governing body felt that she had not put in the post-injury training required to do well in the marathon, despite coach Nic Bideau’s protestations. UKA put Purdue on the team that competed in the 2022 Eugene World Athletics Championships, however, she DNF’d there too. The 31-year-old will need a strong showing Sunday.

Emphasis will apparently be on advanced showing prior to March, which should allow ample recovery time. Additionally, time as always will matter, the benchmark is sub-2:28 and world ranking will matter.

There will be two rounds of selection, Round 1 will be for a maximum of two athletes and Round 2 will be for the third.

According to advanced criteria: If more athletes satisfy the criteria above than there are places available, athletes will be selected based on the strategic aims for selection and consideration of a combination (as the minimum) of the following criteria which are not listed in priority order:

• Achievement of qualification standards
• World ranking
• World Athletics season top lists (three per nation)
• Current form
• Future individual medal potential at outdoor major events
• Head-to-heads
• Previous major competition history
• Injury status
• The number of places available
• Any other factor the Marathon Selection Panel consider to be relevant.

Steph Twell holds a best of 2:26:40 from Frankfurt in 2019. The 33-year-old was a middle-distance runner who moved up to the marathon. She seemed to be strong in both the 1500m and the 5000m events. She is a five-time 5000m national champion and owns a best of 14:54.08. Her best in the 1500m is 4:02.54. Twell transitioned up to the 10,000m well with a 31:08.13 showing in 2019. Her marathon is not far off from these performances, but she will need to go head-to-head with Purdue and make a race of it to get UK Athletics Marathon Selection Committee’s attention.

Although the heat of Sapporo during the Tokyo Olympic Games at 34C affected everyone, for Twell it rendered her to a near last-place finish at 2:53:26. She will be looking for a big personal best on Sunday.

Not much is known about Rose Harvey, however, she has run 2:27:20, which she accomplished in February this year in Seville, Spain. In 2021, she ran the London Marathon in the time of 2:29:45 — outside of the current standard and just 15 seconds shy of the previous standard. In addition to being a strong athlete, she is a finance lawyer and represents Puma Running.

Harvey comes from a triathlon background. Her transition to running — an activity she dreaded in school — has been a smooth one, however, her and Purdue’s DNF’s in Eugene were likely from both testing positive for Covid one month before the championships.

The three athletes will want to run their best efforts and performances on Sunday to challenge Eilish McColgan leading into her debut of the event sometime this or next year. McColgan already held a very strong distance resume, however, in 2022 the Scot impressed with several great performances that may point to 2:20:00 plus or minus-level performances sometime in her future.

McColgan holds five national records including two British records 30:19 over 10K and 53:43 over 10 miles. Her half-marathon best is a national record of 66:26. All set during 2021 and 2022. She is a two-time European Athletics silver medallist, Commonwealth Games champion and silver medallist in the 10,000m and 5000m, respectively.

She, like her champion mother and coach, Liz McColgan-Nutall is expected to transition nicely to the marathon.

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