Andy Vernon is in the elite field for the 2019 TCS New York City Marathon

vernon thompson GB track

After pulling out of this year’s London Marathon due to a hamstring injury, Andy Vernon will look to impress the marathon world on the New York course in November.

Andy Vernon (handicap  -4.6) could be well suited to the hard undulating course and there will be keen interest amongst his distance fans to see how the popular athlete runs in his debut marathon. With an impressive pedigree at cross country and at 10,000m where he has won a European silver medal and has a PB of 27:42 he remains an unknown quantity over 42km (26.2 miles). 

The IAAF standard is set at 2:11:30 for men and 2:29:30 for women. Many elites will have their eyes on courses that offer the best chance for quick times for Tokyo next year.

However, the dual qualification system also recognises a top 10 finish in a World Marathon Major event (which includes NYC Marathon). 10th placed finisher Chris Derrick ran 2:13:08 in 2018 and in 2017 the 10th place finisher ran 2:14:57. Despite the profile of the course these times are well within Vernon’s ability but regardless of times the race clearly affords the opportunity to build critical experience before the London marathon in 2020. This is also a major marathon and a key trial race for many nations.

History shows New York can be a happy hunting ground for UK athletes. Steve Jones’ winning time of 2:08:20 in 1988 and Paula Radcliffe’s wins in 2004, 2007 and 2008 are testament to that along with victories for Priscilla Welch (1987) and Liz McColgan (1991). 

In 2018 Jonathan Mellor (handicap -5.6) ran 2:16:09 for 15th place and Gillian Pease (2:55:14) were the best British performances.