London Marathon 2022: Preview, schedule, how to watch top runners compete in elite races and mass participation run

One of the world's largest marathons is scheduled for Sunday 2 October. For the third year in a row the race is being held in the British Autumn rather than its traditional April date. Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele lead the men elite field on its usual course from Greenwich to the finish in front of Buckingham Palace, live on Olympic Channel.

6 min By Evelyn Watta. Created 27 September 2022.

The 2022 London Marathon will see the return of the defending champions: Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei in the women’s race and the 2021 men’s winner Ethiopian Sisay Lemma.

But the focus on the event will not only be on the 2021 winners but also on the second-fastest marathon runner of all time, Kenenisa Bekele. British athletics great Mo Farah withdrew from the men’s elite race, but a number of Olympians will join thousands who will just be aiming to complete the 42.2km (26.2 mile) course.

We'll also see three players from England’s UEFA Women's European Championship winning women’s football team on hand to be the official starters, getting the elite and mass participation races underway.

Here’s everything you need to know about the 2022 London marathon, the top runners to keep an eye on, the fastest athletes on the start lists, the race schedule, and how to follow the races live on Olympic Channel and other broadcasters.

Kosgei and Jepkosgei lead a talent-filled women’s field at 2022 London Marathon

2021 was a big year for Jepkosgei as she stormed to victory at her first London Marathon.

Her winning time of 2:17:43 made her the seventh fastest woman in history over the distance. She is tipped to defend her title, to add to her 2019 New York Marathon crown, which was her first major career victory over the distance.

Her compatriot Olympic silver medallist Brigid Kosgei, who set the world record of 2:14.:04 at the 2019 Chicago Marathon was a late withdrawal ahead of the race with a minor hamstring injury.

The former world half marathon record holder Jepkosgei will again face the two podium finishers from last year.

That’s the Ethiopian pair of Degitu Azimeraw and Ashete Bekere, second and third respectively last year in London.

Keep an eye too on Yalemzerf Yehualaw also from Ethiopia, the second fastest in the women’s field. Her 2:17:23 course record in Hamburg last April was the fastest debut ever and pushed her to the sixth-fastest woman in the all-time list.

Kenenisa Bekele leads a star-studded men’s field

It's an absolutely loaded men’s field in London this year.

The Ethiopian legend Bekele, the only man along with Farah to win the 5000m and 10,000m double at the Olympic Games, was third in 2016 and second in 2017 but has struggled with injuries since he raced to his personal best of 2:01.41 at the Berlin Marathon in 2019.

The 40-year-old also dropped out of the 2020 London race but has since managed to finish sixth in New York in 2021 and was recently third behind Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo at the 2022 Great North Run on Sunday, September 11.

Watch out for the third fastest men’s marathoner Birhanu Legese who was fifth in London last year.

And after adding the London Marathon to his two previous victories in Frankfurt and Vienna, his countrymate Lemma, the 2021 champion, is a top pick to defend his crown.

Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist Abdi Bashir will also make his race debut in London. The Belgian who trains with Farah, is the European record holder (2:03:36).

Other big names and Olympians at London Marathon 2022

It’s always worth paying close attention to the official starters of the London showpiece race. Three Lionesses from England’s 2022 UEFA Women's European Championship-winning squad: Captain Leah Williamson, the record goal scorer Ellen White and Jill Scott, will be the official starters of the wheelchair races, the elite women’s race, and the elite men and masses.

Before switching to football Scott was a talented runner who won the U15 girls race in the 2001 Mini London Marathon, an event that Farah also won as a junior.

Among the thousands of 'massed runners' taking part in the race will be a number of famous people including celebrities from the worlds of sport, music, and entertainment.

The list of British Olympians taking part includes double Olympic champion rower from Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 James Cracknell, Seoul 1988 hockey gold medallist Steve Batchelor, equestrian eventing gold medallist Tom McEwen, and world champion runner and Atlanta 1996 Olympic medallist Iwan Thomas.

Also lining up for the 'fun run' and to raise funds and awareness for charity will be Irish Olympic rugby sevens star Greg O'Shea, Los Angeles 1984 women's marathon champion Joan Benoit-Samuelson from America.

2022 London Marathon schedule

Races will start from Greenwich in the morning on Sunday 2nd October 2022. Currently the UK timezone is British Summer Time, which is 1 hour ahead of the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). The start times for the different races are:

08:50 - Elite wheelchair men’s and women’s races

09:00 - Elite women’s race

09:40 - Elite men’s race and mass start

The first people across the finish line will be the elite wheelchair winners, who are due to pass Buckingham Palace at around 10:20am on Sunday.

The winners in the elite women's category are due to finish the course after 11:05 am BST, with the fastest men expected to complete the course shortly after 11:40 am. Anyone finishing before that will likely have broken a world record! The finish line on The Mall in central London will be busy into the middle of the afternoon with tens of thousands completing their runs.

How to watch the 2022 London Marathon

The race will be televised around the world via the marathon's official broadcast TV and livestreaming partners.

Olympic Channel will air the London Marathon in selected territories including the Middle East and parts of Asia including China and Japan, live via Olympics.com here.

In the host nation the event will be live on the BBC One TV channel, and online BBC iPlayer, with Eurosport also showing the race in parts of Europe and Asia.

Full details of international broadcast and livestream coverage is here on the official London Marathon 2022 website.

When is the 2023 London Marathon?

The 2022 race is the third consecutive edition of the race being held in October after switching to the British Autumn in 2020 due to Covid pandemic restrictions. 

The 2023 London Marathon will return to it's usual calendar slot in the English Spring season, taking place on Sunday 23 April 2023. Those wishing to take part can enter the ballot from 1st October 2022.

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