Elite women cite training limits in London Marathon buildup

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In this image issued by London Marathon Events, Kenya's Edith Chelimo, right, trains in the grounds of the official hotel and biosecure bubble in London, Monday Sept. 28, 2020, ahead of the elite-only 2020 London Marathon on Sunday Oct. 4. The 40th Race will take place on a closed-loop circuit around St James's Park in central London. (Bob Martin/London Marathon Events via AP)

Kenyan runner Brigid Kosgei isn't expecting to lower her world record in Sunday's London Marathon, not with her training limited by the coronavirus pandemic.

Kosgei and challenger Ruth Chepngetich said Thursday that pandemic restrictions in Kenya prevented them from training in groups for long periods.

“It affected most of us in Kenya,” the 26-year-old Kosgei said.

Kosgei topped her London victory last year by winning the Chicago Marathon in a world record time of 2 hours, 14 minutes, 4 seconds.

“It's not like in Chicago, but I will try my best," she said, declining to offer predictions of a time. “Due to this pandemic, I cannot say I will run this and this. We didn't do a lot of training, enough, like last year."

The London Marathon has been reduced to elite runners only and will have no spectators because of the pandemic. Tokyo was the only other World Marathon Major to be held in 2020 after Boston, Berlin, Chicago and New York all canceled.

Athletes will compete on a 26.2-mile (42.2 kilometer) closed-loop course consisting of 19.6 laps clockwise around St. James’ Park. The traditional course along the River Thames was scrapped in order to create a biosecure event.

Chepngetich echoed her Kenyan teammate's concerns about training.