Keitany, Vivian lined up for New York Marathon

By JONATHAN KOMEN: Thursday, August 23rd 2018 at 00:02 GMT +3 | Athletics
Kenya's Vivian Cheruiyot, Mary Keitany and Gladys Cherono pose during a photocall for the London Women's Marathon elite athletes outside Tower Bridge, in central London on April 18, 2018, ahead of the upcoming London marathon. / AFP PHOTO /

Mary Keitany will target a fourth victory at the TCS New York City Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label race, on November 4.

Keitany and her compatriot, reigning London Marathon winner Vivian Cheruiyot, will join Shalane Flanagan, the 2017 winner and 2018 Boston Marathon champion Des Linden of USA in a race that features 10 Olympians and three Abbott World Marathon Majors (WMM) series race champions.

Keitany is the women’s only marathon record-holder who finished runner-up in the race last year after notching three successive titles -2014, 2015 and 2016 -and will make her seventh appearance in New York City Marathon, having finished third (2010 and 2011) and second last year.

In 2016, she had a superlative performance in which she surged ahead at mile 14 to finish the course on a solo run in 2:24:26. Her 3:34 margin of victory was the greatest in the women’s race since 1980 and she became the first able-bodied runner since Grete Waitz to win the event three years in a row.

“I was disappointed not to defend my title last year, but I was not 100 percent healthy and Shalane ran a strong race,” said Keitany, the 2012 and 2016 World Marathon Majors champion.

Last year, Keitany won her third London Marathon title, breaking the women’s only marathon record in a blistering time of 2:17:01.

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Not bad for the 36-year-old Keitany who started running while in Standard Four in 1996 at Kanjulul Primary School before moving to Kisok Primary School in Baringo.

Having proved her mettle in the 42km race, Keitany will certainly be the woman to beat in the energy-sapping New York Marathon course that has 26 turns.

She trains alongside her husband, Charles Koech, a half-marathon runner. She says training with him has always earned her the required strength in the American race.

“He takes me through the long runs in a fast but fine pace,” said Keitany, who completed Form Four at Nairobi’s Hidden Talent Academy in 2005.

Ethiopians in reigning IAAF World Half Marathon champion Netsanet Gudeta and Mamitu Daska, who finished third in New York last year, will offer stiff challenge.

Molly Huddle, third in New York in 2016, second-placed in 2016 Sally Kipyego and Allie Kieffer are also in the line-up.

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