Cherop returns to Boston aiming to reclaim title

By Stephen Rutto: Tuesday, April 2nd 2019 at 01:15 GMT +3 | Athletics
Women's winner Sharon Cherop of Kenya crosses the finish line of the 2012 Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 16, 2012. [Courtesy]

Cherop, the 2010 Hamburg marathon champion is making a comeback to Boston where she will face an elite field of 21 other women marathoners comprising her compatriot Edna Kiplagat, the 2017 Boston marathon winner.

Of the 22 women in the elite field, 11 have under 2 hours, 23 minutes personal bests.

Cherop, who had finished third in 2011 will also have the reigning champion, Desiree Linden of the USA, to contend with during the April 15 race.

“This time, I am going back to Boston to do my best. I can only say that I want to be among the podium finishers,” Cherop told Standard Sport.

Cherop, who has relocated her training base from Eldoret to Kararia — a mountainous area in the Marakwet highlands said she is in top shape and her preparations for the Boston race are going on well.

“I have shifted my training base because Boston is a hilly course and I have to train in similar conditions. The altitude in Kararia is also high and is good for my preparations. I have been here for three weeks now,” the Eldoret City Marathon reigning champion said from the new training base.

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When asked on the bruising battle expected from Ethiopia’s Aselefech Mergia with a 2:19:31 personal best she recorded at the 2012 Dubai marathon as well as her compatriot Edna Kiplagat, Cherop said:

“Before the race, everyone is a winner and I am ready and well prepared for the challenge.”

The Kararia training base is barely 15Km from Tirap where Cherop, 35, started her running career, running for Tirap Primary School, and competing at provincial school athletics championships at age of 13.

[Stephen Rutto]

Edna Kiplagat takes to the start list, her three World Marathon Majors series wins and her two World Championship Marathon gold medals.

Also in the race is the 2015 Boston marathon champion Caroline Rotich who has a marathon PB of 2:23:22.

Rotich had relegated Cherop to the fifth place in the 2015 Boston race.

Another Kenyan woman in the race is Betsy Saina who ran and won her first marathon in 2017.

An Ethiopian contingent led by Aselefech Mergia, a London Marathon champion (2016) and three-time winner of Dubai marathon (2011, 2012 and 2015) will be seeking to challenge Boston champions.

Mare Dibaba, the 2015 World Championships Marathon gold medalist, 2016 Olympic Marathon bronze medalist, Bank of America Chicago Marathon champion, Beijing marathon and two-time Xiamen marathon winner is also eying the Boston title.

Mergia and Dibaba will be running in the company of Worknesh Degefa, the 2017 Dubai Marathon champion.

Last year’s second and third place finishers, Sarah Sellers of the United States and Krista DuChene of Canada return to improve their positions.

They join Olympic and World Championships silver medalist in the 10,000m, Sally Kipyego of the United States and US elites Jordan Hasay who was third at Boston in 2017, Sara Hall, the 2017 US national champion, Lindsay Flanagan, Becky Wade and Sarah Crouch.


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