Natasha Wodak withdraws from 2023 London Marathon

Natasha Wodak withdraws from 2023 London Marathon

The Canadian women’s marathon record holder, Natasha Wodak, will not be racing at the 2023 London Marathon this Sunday. The 41-year-old announced on her Instagram Tuesday that she has been trying to train through injury and sickness but has not been 100 percent, which has forced her to withdraw.

“I am absolutely gutted to announce I’ve pulled out of Sunday’s London Marathon,” wrote Wodak. “The last few days have been incredibly tough trying to decide what to do, but I am so grateful to all the people in my life that have reassured me that we have made the right decision.”

Earlier in her marathon training build, Wodak was dealing with two separate injuries, which resulted in her missing training. “We put up a great fight when injuries tried to derail us,” wrote Wodak. Two weeks before the marathon, I started having stomach issues, and I’ve unfortunately been sick since. I have not been able to eat much, and we all know you can’t race a marathon under-fueled.”

Last year at the 2022 Berlin Marathon, Wodak set a new Canadian marathon record of 2:23:12 with her 12th-place finish.

The two-time Canadian Olympian beat the previous record by a minute and 38 seconds, held by Malindi Elmore from the 2020 Houston Marathon (2:24:50).

Wodak was set to take on one of the greatest women’s marathon fields ever assembled, including Olympic champions Sifan Hassan and Peres Jepchirchir, plus the world record holder Brigid Kosgei and the marathon debut of Eilish McColgan.

Natasha Wodak and Leslie Sexton
Leslie Sexton and Natasha Wodak, training in Vancouver. Photo: Leslie Sexton

Wodak remained optimistic about a return to the marathon, “Right now, I will take the time to rest and reset,” she said. “We have more races to come.”

With Wodak’s withdrawal, there will now be no Canadian elites at the 2023 London Marathon. Rory Linkletter was supposed to start in the men’s elite field but also had to withdraw from an IT band flare-up in late March.

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