Last updated 5 years ago | By JONATHAN KOMEN
Mary Jepkosgei Keitany will be seeking a rare hat-trick when she lines up at the 35th Virgin London Marathon run on Sunday.
Keitany, a former world 21km record holder, is keen to consolidate World Marathon Major’s (WMM) series points that would probably see her reclaim the $500,000 (Sh43m) WMM jackpot she won in the 2012/2013 season.
Fresh from striking a hat-trick at the well-heeled Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) half marathon in February, Keitany has covered enough ground in training that can catapult her to the throne in the United Kingdom’s premier 42km race.
But Monday’s night’s 119th Boston Marathon certainly makes a tilt in the WMM chase.
“I have won London twice and it is high time that I win the third time, which will be my joy in marathon especially in a prestigious race like London,” Keitany said after her training session when she was alongside London Marathon defending champion Ednah Kiplagat, 2013 winner Priscah Jeptoo and 2014 runner-up Florence Kiplagat.
Keitany, a mother of two, said she was seeking to use the RAK 21km contest in improving her 42km personal best time currently at 2:18:37 to at least sub 2:17. “This is the right time for me to lower my marathon personal best. I have competed in the course for long and this would be ultimate time,” she said.
Keitany targets a third victory, which will make her the first woman in the history of London Marathon since inception in 1982.
Charles Koech, her husband and half marathon specialist, said Keitany can pull a surprise given her strong comeback after maternity where she has Bupa Great North Run in England and RAK 21km race wins under her belt. Having won New York City Marathon, the fourth born in a family looks poised for a competitive battle in the British capital. She broke the Bupa Great North Run Half marathon course record, slicing it from 65:40 to 65:39 before setting a new course record of 31.22 at the Lowertown Brewery Ottawa 10km road race.