Kids aim for new Kipsang marathon mark

World Marathon Challenge to see youngsters from across the globe attack the world record mark in the Save the Children charity event

World Marathon Challenge Jamie Baulch

Children’s relay teams in this month’s World Marathon Challenge will have to raise their game a little higher after the world record for 26.2 miles was improved at the end of September.

Youngsters aged 11-13 are due to attack the world record mark in the Save the Children charity event at various locations around the world from October 16-23, but instead of trying to beat Patrick Makau’s best of 2:03:38 they now have a target of 2:03:23, which was set by Wilson Kipsang in Berlin, to shoot for.

Organised by Sportshall, the event sees youngsters complete the marathon distance – in 200m sections – in the quickest time possible. It is supported by the Amateur Athletic Association and England Athletics, while a number of high-profile athletes have also been keen to support the event.

Laura Muir, 800m World Championships semi-finalist, will be going along to Scotstoun, Glasgow, on Thursday to show her support, while world and European 800m medallist Jenny Meadows, who continues her comeback from injury, will be at the World Marathon Challenge event at Sportcity in Manchester on October 16. Further athletics stars are set to be confirmed for various other venues in the near future, too.

Already, more than 500 teams have entered and organisers expect more than 50 countries to be involved.

Last year’s event saw 20,000 children from 45 countries simultaneously tacking  the marathon distance, with 15 teams breaking Makau’s mark.

There is still a chance to enter the 2013 event, too. Schools across the UK are invited to take part by marking out an open field with cones and including mixed-gender teams of between 26 and 36 children.

Last year’s event was covered on BBC, Sky and ITV news channels and involved nations from as far afield as Kenya, Mexico, Afghanistan and India.

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