Marathon wait leaves Murray looking to Chicago

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The Capital’s “Lady-in-Waiting” Freya Murray has all but given up hope of being called up for the British Olympic team for the marathon and is reluctantly turning her attention to the Chicago Marathon in October.

Although never named as an official reserve for the event, though she achieved the UK Athletics A qualifying standard in the official trial at the London Marathon last April, Murray had been hoping she might be called on if British No. 1 Paula Radcliffe was declared unfit.

Radcliffe, who was pre-selected along with Mara Yamauchi, had expressed some doubts about getting to the starting line, but that has all gone quiet recently.

“I’ve not heard anything regarding Paula, so Chicago’s the plan at the moment,” said the 28-year-old Edinburgh AC runner.

Murray’s brilliant debut at the classic distance in two hours 28 minutes 10 seconds was the third fastest first attempt of all time by a British runner and also placed her second fastest Scot ever behind Liz McColgan (2:26.52) and ahead of Hayley Haining (2:29.18), who was in a very similar situation to Murray before the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Very little has emerged about Radcliffe’s current state of fitness but the marathon time which last year clinched her place (2:23.46) was more than eight minutes slower than her World best and nothing has happened since to suggest she can match that.

Many people fear another debacle such as happened in Beijing when she was given until the last minute to decide if she was fit after picking up a stress fracture in the femur, and was forced to stop in mid-race before finishing 23rd, barely able to walk.

Jo Pavey, meanwhile, having “sat on” a marathon qualifying time of 2:28.44 only for both Claire Hallissey, who was selected, and Murray to come along and beat that, has now been picked for both the 10,000m and 5000m, which at least leaves 
Murray as the obvious next-in-line.