Double Olympic track champion Sifan Hassan will take to the streets of London for her marathon debut
To say that the women’s elite race at the 2023 TCS London Marathon is stacked is an understatement. With Olympic and Abbott World Marathon Majors champions among those set to toe the Start Line – not to mention world and national record holders – a dizzying swathe of talent is set to take over that iconic 26.2-mile course on Sunday 23 April.
But Sifan Hassan has not yet tested herself over the full marathon distance. Already a dominant figure on the running scene, 30-year-old Hassan is the reigning Olympic 10,000m and 5000m champion and 1500m bronze medallist – and yet her marathon personal best is currently unknown.
Pushing the distance
Like British bright light Eilish McColgan, it has been confirmed that Dutch star Hassan will make her hotly anticipated marathon debut at the 2023 TCS London Marathon. And although it’ll be a step into uncertainty, she’s already fired up for the challenge.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing how I can do at the marathon. I’m just so excited and curious to find out how I’ll do,” she said. “The London Marathon is where the best athletes go to run – and you never know who is going to win. Sometimes even the greatest get beaten!
“I’m grateful to be invited to race there and gain marathon experience, running with the greatest,” she continued. “I hate losing, but whether it goes well or not in London, I will learn a lot and know how to improve for the future. It’s all about learning in London.”
And as for the famous fatigue that hits around the 35K mark? For Hassan, it’ll just be a painful part of an unmissable process.
“The marathon is going to be hard, but I don’t care – I want to do London with the best and see how I can run.”
Staying on track
The prospect of taking on a new distance as part of the finest field that women’s marathon running has ever seen is certainly exhilarating. But despite the hype, Hassan is determined to stay grounded and not stray far from her track background.
“I’m good on the track but I don’t yet know if I can be any good at the marathon,” she said. “The distance is so challenging and you can’t just guess it, so I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself. I’m still planning to run the track season this summer and am more ready for that than ever.
“A big challenge for me during marathon training is to not get injured while maintaining my track speed!”
If Hassan’s running credentials to date are anything to go by – and her own modesty aside – we can safely assume we’ll see an almighty performance from her at the TCS London Marathon this spring. The elite women’s race will be a speedy, suspense-filled showdown like no other – and as Hassan says herself, we just don’t know who is going to win.
For the full lowdown on the women’s elite race on Sunday 23 April 2023, click here.