Lionesses to start the London Marathon

Leah Williamson, Jill Scott and Ellen White announced as official starters of the London Marathon.

London Marathon 2022 

This weekend, more than 40,000 runners will make the journey to the nation’s capital in order to take part in the London Marathon. The marathon is one of the biggest sporting events of the year. It will feature elite athletes such as Joyciline Jepkosgei and Sisay Lemma. Thousands of non-professional runners will also take part in the race. It is anticipated that millions will be raised for charity through the various events.

For fans of women’s football, this year’s London Marathon will be of extra interest. Three Lionesses from England’s European Championship-winning squad have been invited to start the event. 

Captain Leah Williamson will represent the Lionesses alongside teammates Jill Scott and Ellen White as the official starters of the 2022 TCS London Marathon. 

Williamson said: “It is a fantastic honour for the Lionesses to be asked to be the official starters for the 2022 TCS London Marathon. We had a once-in-a lifetime experience winning the Euros this summer with incredible support. I’m sure everyone taking part in this year’s TCS London Marathon will also have a day they will never forget.”

Fond memories for Scott

For Jill Scott, this event is an extra special one. Prior to becoming a professional footballer, the Sunderland native was a talented runner. In 2001, she won the under-fifteen girls’ race in the Mini London Marathon.

On her 2001 win, Scott said: “This will bring back some special memories for me too. I won the Mini Marathon back in 2001 before I decided to focus on my football and crossing the line first on The Mall was an amazing feeling.”

Scott announced her retirement from football shortly after the Lionesses’ European Championship victory in July of this year. She had been a key member of the squad for over a decade with 161 caps. 

England's Jill Scott celebrates with her Euro 2022 winners' medal
Before she raised her Euro Championship medal this past summer, Jill Scott was a youth champion of The London Mini-Marathon. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

The former Lioness takes pride in the legacy of the Euros and is keen to engage more young people in sport and exercise. She said: “Part of the joy of our success this summer was hearing how it inspired young people to get out and play football or any sport. The Mini London Marathon has exactly the same power.”

The Mini Marathon took place yesterday, seeing around 7000 young people take part with some outstanding performances. 

Where to watch

The London Marathon begins this morning at 8:30am. The BBC will be covering the event in full, broadcasting both the elite and mass participation events live across BBC One and BBC Two.
For those able to make it to the capital to watch the marathon live, The Independent has published a guide of best spectator spots to watch the event from. Spectators are warned to check their travel plans in advance as rail strikes are expected to heavily disrupt transport in and around the capital.