Marathon star Cherono to challenge Bekele at the Vitality Big Half

Lawrence Cherono, one of the world’s most successful marathon runners, will take on distance running great Kenenisa Bekele at The Vitality Big Half in London on Sunday 1 March.

Cherono, who has been selected to represent Kenya at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, is the reigning champion of both the Boston Marathon and the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and has an incredible record of eight wins in 11 races over the 26.2 mile distance.

At The Vitality Big Half, which starts close to London’s iconic Tower Bridge and finishes at the world famous Cutty Sark in Greenwich, Cherono will provide a stern test to Bekele, the current world record holder for 5000m and 10000m and the second fastest marathon runner in history.

Both men will use the race as a crucial preparation for upcoming marathons. Bekele is working towards a mouth-watering match-up between himself and marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge on Sunday 26 April. Cherono will defend his Boston Marathon title six days earlier on Monday 20 April.

As well as Cherono and Bekele, the reigning Rotterdam Marathon champion Marius Kipserem (KEN) and a host of leading British athletes including Chris Thompson, Dewi Griffiths and Ross Millington will race in this year’s event. Sir Mo Farah, who withdrew from this year’s race due to injury, has won the previous two editions.

Cherono, 31, said: “I am really looking forward to coming to London to run in such a high-quality race as The Vitality Big Half and I’m thankful for the opportunity. It is exactly the test I was looking for as I prepare for the Boston Marathon and I am sure it will be a great race.”

Full list of The Vitality Big Half elite men’s field


First Name Surname Country PB
Kenenisa BEKELE ETH 60.09
Lawrence CHERONO KEN 60.49
Jake SMITH GBR 62.02
Marius KIPSEREM KEN 62.2
Mohamud AADAN GBR 62.3
Andy VERNON GBR 62.46
Ollie LOCKLEY GBR 63.01
Jack GRAY GBR 63.15
Daniel STUDLEY GBR 63.58
Derek HAWKINS GBR 64.07
Paulos SURAFEL GBR 64.12
Joshua GRIFFITHS GBR 64.23
Joshua GRACE GBR 64.27
Robbie SIMPSON GBR 64.27
Charlie HULSON GBR 64.28
Nick GOOLAB GBR 64.34
Jonathan THEWLIS GBR 67.2
Derek RAE GBR 68.22


Full list of The Vitality Big Half elite women’s field


First Name Surname Country PB
Eleanor DAVIS GBR 72.34
Clara EVANS GBR 72.49
Tish JONES GBR 72.55
Stephanie DAVIS GBR 72.57
Rebecca MURRAY GBR 72.59
Jenny SPINK GBR 73.01
Samantha HARRISON GBR 73.07
Dani NIMMOCK GBR 74.13


Media accreditation for The Vitality Big Half on Sunday 1 March is now open. It will close at 17:00 on Friday 21 February.

The Media Centre for The Vitality Big Half will be located at the Cutty Sark next to the finish in Greenwich. Accreditation confirmations and event information will be will be sent out during the week commencing Monday 24 February.


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