Day 2 of our London Marathon Elite Preview sees us take a look at two teammates on the famed NN Running Team (no not those two! We’ll get to them in good time) Degitu Azimeraw and, last year’s 3rd place finisher in London, Mule Wasihun.
Degitu Azimeraw (Ethiopia)
- London Marathon Record: N/a
- PB: 2:19:26 (Amsterdam 2019)
At 21 years old Degitu Azimeraw is the youngest runner in the race and she ran her debut marathon at the TCS Amsterdam Marathon last October. A debut marathon that she ran in 2:19:26; which in turn was the second fastest debut marathon time in history and also good enough to win the race!
This is Azimeraws first time at the London Marathon, which isn’t surprising really considering she only left her native Ethiopia to travel overseas for the first time in December 2017 when she was invited to race at the Tata Steel Kolkata 25km in India. She wasn’t content on just turning up for the experience and to race though, she went onto claim the win with a time of 1:26:01.
A mixed bag of half marathon outings followed in 2018 with Azimeraw finishing 6th at the Ras Al Khaimah Half (2:06:47), 1st at Gifu Seiryu Half in Japan (1:09:53) and 3rd at Bogota Half Marathon (1:14:51) – I said mixed bag not a terrible bag. Then in 2019 she was able to compliment the Amsterdam Marathon win with a 4th place finish at the Ras Al Khaimah (1:06:07) and a 2nd place finish in the half marathon at the African Games in Rabat (1:10:31)
A second career marathon win on Sunday for Degitu might be a bit of a big ask but there’s no doubt she’ll be pushing those more experienced runners around her all the way to the line.
Mule Wasihun (Ethiopia)
- London Marathon Record: 2:03:16 (London 2019)
- PB: 2:03:16 (London 2019)
Mule Wasihun, 26, was 3rd at last year’s London Marathon behind Kipchoge and, yesterdays previewed runner, Mosinet Geremew. His 2:03:16 that day was good enough to put the 26-year-old runner 7th on the all-time list for marathon times.
Wasihun has made impressive and steady strides in lowering his time over the 26.2 miles since his debut at the distance in 2015. That year he ran the Dubai Standard Chartered Marathon 2:10:57 to finish 11th in the race. He returned to Dubai the following year and managed to take more than 5 minutes off his previous time by running 2:05:44 which was good enough for 5th.
In October 2016 he ran the Amsterdam marathon, finishing 9th, with a time of 2:07:19. However, when Wasihun returned to Amsterdam the following year he would again take a chunk of time off his previous outing. At the 2017 Amsterdam marathon he ran 2:05:39 and finished 4th. You can see the beginnings of a pattern here. In 2018 at the Amsterdam marathon once again he shaved another minute of his time by running 20:04:37 which led to a 2nd place finish. Amongst the numerous trips to the Dutch capital Wasihun also ran the Dubai Marathon again and finished 2nd.
In any other year Wasihuns track record of racing once and returning the following year to literally remove minutes from his previous time would’ve been fascinating considering his 2:03:16 3rd place finish in London last year. However, this is really not the same race is it. The finish line might still resemble the famous home stretch though and of course it will still be intriguing to see if Wasihun can kick up a bit of a storm on those autumnal London streets.
Next up tomorrow: Kenenisa Bekele and Vivian Cheruiyot