Previous London Marathon winners Ingrid Kristiansen and Catherina McKiernan will return as official starters in 2023
Two former London Marathon champions, Ingrid Kristiansen and Catherina McKiernan, will be the official starters of the 2023 TCS London Marathon women’s elite race on Sunday 23 April.
Kristiansen won the London Marathon four times, the most victories by any female runner in the event’s history. She won four out of five London Marathons between 1984 and 1988 and set a world record time of 2:21:06 at the 1985 London Marathon, which stood for 13 years. This year will be 35 years since her final London Marathon win in 1988, a landmark she will celebrate by being named as an official starter for an incredible elite women’s race in London next month.
Kristiansen will be joined as official starter by McKiernan, another London Marathon champion, who won the 1998 race on her debut in London. McKiernan, who also won the Berlin Marathon in 1997 and remains the Irish marathon record holder (2:22:23), will be celebrating 25 years since her win in London.
Norwegian Kristiansen said: “I’m honoured to have been asked to start the elite women’s race at this year’s TCS London Marathon. It will be only my second time back in London since I won in 1988. Winning the London Marathon on four occasions was a huge personal achievement and I have very fond memories of each race. London will always hold a special place in my heart.
“This year’s elite women’s field is impressive. I hope the new generation of elite female marathon runners continue to inspire young girls and women to be active and believe in themselves.”
McKiernan said: “I’m incredibly excited to be returning to London with Ingrid to officially start a fantastic women’s elite race at the 2023 TCS London Marathon. I have lots of wonderful memories of my win in London nearly 25 years ago and I’m delighted to have been invited back.
“This year’s women’s race is going to be a memorable one – there are some incredible names set to run in April. I think I’m most excited to see how Eilish McColgan gets on. I raced many times alongside her mum Liz so it’ll be great to see Eilish make her debut.
“I’ll be joined on Marathon Day by my children, and I can’t wait for them to see what a wonderful occasion the London Marathon is. I hope everyone taking part has an amazing day.”
Today’s announcement comes on International Women’s Day (Wednesday 8 March) as the TCS London Marathon celebrates the achievements of two of its legendary female winners by honouring them with the role of official starters for what is arguably the greatest women’s elite field ever assembled.
Among those on the Start Line in April will be defending champion Yelemzerf Yehualaw (ETH), marathon world record holder Brigid Kosgei (KEN) and Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir (KEN). Joining them, and making their TCS London Marathon debuts, are two current stars of athletics – Britain’s Eilish McColgan, the reigning Commonwealth Games 10,000m champion, and Dutch middle-distance Olympic champion Sifan Hassan.
Kristiansen and McKiernan will be the official starters of the elite women’s race at the 2023 TCS London Marathon on Sunday 23 April. Starters of the elite wheelchair races and the elite men and masses will be announced in the coming weeks.
Previous starters include Queen Elizabeth II, the Prince and Princess of Wales with the Duke of Sussex, Sir Andy Murray, Lionesses Leah Williamson OBE, Jill Scott MBE and Ellen White MBE, and Sir Steve Redgrave.