London Marathon 2016 Preview

Apr 19th, 2016 Betting Tips, Previews

London Marathon 2016

The London Marathon is one of the landmark dates in long-distance running, attracting the sport’s top athletes to compete every year since its inception in 1981. One leg of the World Marathon Majors, a win in London is a prestigious achievement, and a significant feat given the quality and pace of the runners who take part in the event, and the sheer number of runners – often more than 30,000 competitors a year.

Run over 26 miles and 385 yards, the event is broken down into a number of classification divisions, including the elite men’s marathon, elite women’s marathon, wheelchair marathon and the mass race, which draws the majority of runners (and the entirety of the comedy running costumes). But aside from the charitable element of the event, which sees amateur runners raising money for a number of good causes, there is serious sport to be had, and plenty of opportunities for scooping a win at the bookies along the way.

About the 2016 London Marathon Event

The London Marathon is one of a few long distance events each year that benefits from a prize pot of over a million. That makes it a must-compete event for professional runners from across the world, each hoping to stake a claim with a good time. As a result, London attracts the very best athletes the sport has to offer, as one of the few major occasions in the marathon running season.

Virgin London Marathon 2016

The event has been a magnet for sponsorship and charity. Since the first London Marathon over £450 million has been raised for charities and good causes, and charity remains one of the primary motivators behind the mass race. People from all walks of life turn up to the marathon every year, dressed in costumes ranging from banana suits through to vintage diving costumes.

Runner Lloyd Scott has set the record slowest times for completing the marathon multiple times over, in regular efforts to raise money for good causes. In 2011, it took him a remarkable 26 days to complete the race. The obstacle? Scott was crammed face down into a snail suit, which he used to cover ground in the most excruciatingly slow way possible. When you consider that the record holder, Kenyan Wilson Kipsang could have the race 300 times over in this time frame, it gives you some indication of just how slow Scott’s snail race was.

The course

The London Marathon course is run around the River Thames, and is flat for the most part. This allows runners to work towards setting good race times, which helps the event retain its special feel and competitive edge. A further quirk of running in London, competitors are given mile markers as they race, but quoted times in kilometres for their splits.

There are three separate starting points around the course, which are used to spread out the runners to accommodate such a substantial field of competitors. The Red start is at Greenwich Park, the Blue start at Shooter’s Hill Road and the Green start at St John’s Park. The event winds through London to finish up in The Mall by St James’ Palace, having woven through Tower Bridge, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and a number of other landmark London sights.

Big Ben - Marathon

The course has remained pretty fixed in 35 years of competition, and the closing stages of the marathon route formed part of the route for the same event at the London 2012 Olympics. While there are occasionally diversions to take account of construction work and other obstacles, the course is generally an identical map – a feature that has surely encouraged the same athletes to return year after year to try and better their time.

Record Times

Setting a record time at the London Marathon is never easy, and records tend to stick for some time. While the athletes are always looking to better their personal performance and challenge the records in their respective divisions, coming in at a fraction over 2 hours will always be difficult over such a long distance.

In the men’s race, Wilson Kipsang set the record in 2014 with his win, coming in a 2:04:29 – an average speed of 13mph around the course. Running again this time around, Kipsang and his contemporaries will be looking to put in another fast time. The fastest time ever recognised in a marathon is 2:02:57, set by Dennis Kimetto in Berlin in 2014, so it would take an extra special effort to set a new record in this year’s race.

For the elite women, Paula Radcliffe’s time of 2:15:25 remains unchallenged from 2003. It remains to be seen whether any in this years field have the ability to topple that record.

Favourites for this year

This year’s men’s field is looking extremely competitive, and race fans can be assured a dramatic finish if past performances are anything to go by. Most people are already fancying the Kenyan duo of Wilson Kipsang and Eliud Kipchoge to do some damage to the field this year, the winners of the 2014 and 2015 marathon’s respectively.

2015 London Marathon Winners - Kipsang & Kiplagat

While Kipsang holds the current course record time of 2:04:29, which he set with his win in 2014, Kipchoge is arguably the favourite coming into the race. Since 2013, he has won five and come second in one of a total of his last 6 outings, and it would take the unthinkable for him not to be at the head of the field this year.

The women’s field is equally competitive, and this year looks set to push the record time set by Paula Radcliffe even further. Ethiopian Tigist Tufa will start at the head of the pack, and is many people’s favourite to win the women’s race. Her lightning burst over the final 3 miles of the course in 2015 saw her leave two-time champion Kenyan Mary Keitany for dust, in an impressive performance that saw her crowned last year’s winner. She will be looking to replicate that performance this year.

Make sure to check out the latest free bets reviews to take advantage of the generous offers of online betting sites and bet on London Marathon 2016 without risk. Eliud Kipchoge is clear men’s favorite at most online bookmakers (evens). Mary Keitany (evens) is favorite among women. The women race will be especially interesting with 5 breaking the 2:20:00 time barrier including Gladys Cherono (2:19:25), Florence Kiplagat, Priscah Jeptoo (2:20:14), Jemima Sumgong (2:20:48), Aselefech Mergia (2:19:31) and Mare Dibaba (2:19:52). From men, Kimetto and Biwott should make interesting winner bets.

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