British record-holder faces key race in Germany this weekend ahead of marathon debut in London on April 23

Three weeks before making her marathon debut in London, Eilish McColgan will tackle the Berlin Half Marathon on Sunday (April 2) looking for a confidence-boosting performance.

The 32-year-old has dealt with a number of injury niggles so far this year such as bursitis on her knee and Achilles and calf issues. Despite this she broke Paula Radcliffe’s long-standing British 10,000m record with 30:00.86 in California at the start of March although she subsequently withdrew from last weekend’s NYC Half.

After training in altitude in Colorado, she is now set to travel to Europe this week to run the Generali-sponsored Berlin Half Marathon where her rivals include Tsigie Gebreselama of Ethiopia and Ludwina Chepngetich of Kenya, whereas fellow Brits Samantha Harrison and Calli Thackery are also set to compete.

Gebreselama has run 65:46 – which she ran in Valencia last October behind Konstanze Klosterhalfen – whereas Chepngetich has run 67:30 and McColgan’s UK record is 66:26.

Tsigie Gebreselama

Gebreselama, 22, also won silver behind Beatrice Chebet in the women’s race at the recent World Cross Country Championships in Australia.

You can expect fast times because very much like the city’s annual marathon in the autumn, the half-marathon has seen quick times over the years. Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands ran 65:45 here in 2019 with the current course record held by Kenya’s Sheila Kiprotich Chepkirui with 65:02 from 12 months ago.

The men’s line-up meanwhile is led by Sabastian Sawe, whose PB of 58:02, plus fellow Kenyans Philemon Kiplimo and Alex Kibet, the latter being the 2022 winner in Berlin. Up against the Kenyans are Dominic Lobalu of South Sudan and Gemechu Dida of Ethiopia, whose PBs are 59:12 and 59:21 respectively.

The first wave of runners set off just after 10am local time and the live stream is below.

Mo Farah is also set to face a big pre-London Marathon test in coming days as he tackles the Port Gentil 10km in Gabon, west Africa, on April 8.

Rivals include Yassin Haji of Ethiopia (PB 27:00), Daniel Kosen of Kenya (27:01), Chimdesa Debele of Ethiopia (27:10) and Emmanuel Kiprop (27:13).

Farah, who recently turned 40, will be racing for the first time since winning the Big Half 61:49 last September. His only other race in 2022 was his surprise defeat to Ellis Cross over 10km in London in May.

Mo Farah

So it will be interesting to see how he goes after a recent spell of altitude training in Ethiopia and with the London Marathon potentially his farewell appearance.

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