Andy Vernon on marathon debut: ‘If I don’t do it now, I won’t ever do it’

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(2) Andy Vernon at the 2014 British Indoor Championships. Photo: Vinco

European silver medallist Andy Vernon is to run his first marathon in London this year.

The 33-year-old says he feels like now is the right time, as he recognises he’s getting “a little bit slower on the track” and that “it’s tough to make teams”.

He’s been speaking to organisers of the London Marathon, who have released names of some of the top British runners who’ll be competing this year.

Vernon will be joined by the likes of Callum Hawkins, Charlotte Purdue and Sonia Samuels who are all set to race in the capital on Sunday 28 April.

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It follows yesterday’s announcement that marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge will line up alongside six-time world champion Sir Mo Farah.

Vernon was second and third behind Farah over 10,000m and 5,000m respectively at the European Championships in Zurich five years ago.

He now says “it’s tough to do well at championships, especially over 10,000m. For that reason, I thought if I don’t do it now, I won’t ever do it.”

The Aldershot, Farnham and District athlete hasn’t run the full 26.2 miles competitively, but he has run plenty of half marathons, the fastest being the Great North Run in 2014, where he clocked a time of 62:46.

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He returned to the same event last September, coming home in 65:04, but was as quick as 63:36 at the Manchester Half in October.

Also confirmed is Charlotte Purdue, who set her best ever marathon time of 2:29.23 in London two years ago, before going on to finish 13th in the city at the IAAF World Championships that summer.

On her excitement for taking on the challenge again in 2019, Purdue says “I think I can go a lot faster than I did in 2017 and I think my world championship performance proved that”.

The 27-year-old is keen to use this as a springboard to make the Doha worlds team in the autumn and finish higher.

After coming fourth last time out Callum Hawkins, will expect to be part of the team in Qatar.

The Scot started his winter well with a 10K PB of 28:55 in Valencia last weekend.

Also confirmed are Lily Partridge who ran a near identical lifetime best to Purdue of 2:29.24 at the 2018 London Marathon.

Joining her is Sonia Samuels, who is seventh on the British all-time list with 2:28.04 set in Berlin in 2015.