Scottish athletes Freya Ross, Derek Hawkins and Susan Partridge have been handed three of Great Britain's ten elite places for this year's Virgin London Marathon. The trio will compete at the race which takes place on 21 April 2013. All three will be looking to boost their chances of a place at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow later in the year, and there is the added incentive of posting qualifying times for next year's Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Hawkins and Ross have already run inside the qualifying times set by British Athletics for the world championships and Partridge will look to improve her personal best of 2:34:13 which she set in London two years ago.
Hawkins, one of the most promising long distance British runners in recent years, only moved up to marathon distance last year. He recorded an impressive time of 2:14:04 in his debut in Frankfurt and there are high hopes for him bettering that time in London. Ross also made her marathon debut last year, finishing London marathon in 2:28:10 which is the second best result in history by a Scottish female runner after Liz McColgan. Freya was then a last minute replacement for Paula Radcliffe at the London Olympics.
Radcliffe praised the Scot's performance: "Freya stepped in for the Olympic marathon at a late stage and I felt under all the circumstances performed very well. She didn't know until a couple of weeks beforehand that she would be running but she came in and proved the best of the Brits on the day and is showing she can handle making that step up. Altitude training in Boulder (Colorado) will set her up brilliantly for the London marathon and I think Freya has a good future ahead of her now."
The world record holder also spoke positively about endurance running in Scotland: "To have three Scots getting elite entries for London looks very promising for the Scottish endurance scene."