Will Kipchoge emerge a five star general in Boston Marathon?

Eliud Kipchoge celebrates after winning the Berlin Marathon last year.[AP]

The adrenaline levels are running high ahead of the 127th Boston Marathon showdown set for tomorrow at 5pm.

World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge will be seeking to notch up a fifth straight marathon victory, and his 15th of 17 starts over the 42km distance. But it’s not just about winning his second American marathon ever after the Chicago Marathon in 2014.

Kipchoge, the two-time Olympic marathon champion, could add to his bulging list of achievements –after his 2:00.25 mark at the Breaking2 Project in Monza, Italy, in 2017 and the 1:59.40 at the Ineos Challenge in Vienna, Austria, in 2019.

He will take on one of the finest fields ever assembled in Boston –the world’s oldest marathon.

In that gunpowder that features six World Marathon Majors series winners stands Boston and New York Marathon winner Evans Chebet and Chicago Marathon winner Benson Kipruto.

There is also Tanzania’s Gabiriel Geay, who carries an impressive 2:03.0 personal best to the start line. Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata, who beat Kipchoge at the 2020 London Marathon battle, is also in the mix.

It will be interesting to see how Kipchoge will tackle the energy-sapping Boston is a point-to-point downhill course with three turns and without pace setters. This is unlike flat courses like London, Berlin, Chicago and Tokyo that Kipchoge has reigned supreme.

The Boston course record of 2 hours 3 minutes and 2 seconds was set by Geoffrey Mutai in 2011.

There are six women in tomorrow’s field who have won a World Marathon Major in the past. They include 2019 New York and 2021 London marathons winner Joyciline Jepkosgei, 2020 Tokyo Marathon winner Lonah Salpeter of Israel and Gotytom Gebreslase, the 2021 Berlin Marathon and 2022 world champion.

Jepkosgei, a soldier at Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) in Isiolo, has a leg up against her opponents. She carries the fastest time (2:17.43) to the start line and has finished in top two in four of the five marathons she has competed in.

It now remains to be seen if Jepkosgei will live up to KDF maxim, “soldiers never say die.”

Newly upgraded Boston Marathon champion 43-year-old Edna Kiplagat, who made the national team while a Standard Seven pupil at Kapkoi Primary School in Elgeyo Marakwet, is another star to watch.

Double Olympic silver medallist Hellen Obiri and Ethiopia’s Amane Beriso, who topped the 2022 Valencia Marathon, will make their marathon debuts.

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