Steph Twell to make marathon debut in Spain


Commonwealth and European track medallist Steph Twell (handicap -2.2) is ready to race her first marathon before the end of this year in the Valencia marathon.

The Olympian and GB and Scotland international, who is making a move to the roads after a fine career in cross country and track, will compete in the Valencia Marathon on 2nd December.

While Steph Twell makes her debut in Valencia, Callum Hawkins (handicap -6.5) will make his return to the marathon on the same date in Japan when he takes on the Fukuoka Marathon in a high-class field.

For Steph it is very much a step into the unknown but a seventh place at the Commonwealth Half Marathon, after she delayed her honeymoon, augured well for a first crack at a full marathon under the tutelage of coach Geoff Wightman.

It will also be the realisation of long-held ambition. ‘At this stage of my career it just feels right to finally step up and challenge myself over the marathon distance,’ said Steph, who is currently training in America.

‘I’ve always had ambitions to see how I fare over 26.2 and since becoming five times British 5000m champion on the track, I feel now would be a great time to dip my feet in the water to see if I can also have similar success on the roads.

With two years to the Olympics, I’m aware it is no easy task to tackle the marathon (and qualify) but I have hopes to make my best impact at Tokyo 2020 and the marathon might be one of the ways I can reach this goal.

‘So Geoff and I have chosen to race the Valencia Marathon to gain experience of the race and for me to understand what further marathon training requires.

‘Following only a short break after the Europeans, yet celebrating my recent wedding nuptials and honeymoon, I’m interested to see how I will cope with the distance -without really throwing everything into it for my first one.

‘Geoff and I can then decide what is my best strategy ahead of the World Champs and Tokyo 2020, whilst still not neglecting dropping down in distance from the training the marathon will give me.  Currently, I am training in Flagstaff for four weeks before racing in Valencia and then the plan is to take a three-week break.’