5 September 2017

Kenya: Keitany Keeps Eyes on Prize

World marathon record holder Mary Keitany will lead the Kenya challenge as she defends her title in the New York Marathon in November.

Keitany will have for company the silver medallist at the recent World Championships, Edna Kiplagat and Betsy Saina.

All three athletes have all been training in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County.

To stay in shape, Keitany will this weekend compete in the Great North Run as a build up to New York Marathon.

"I'm happy to have been named in the New York Marathon team where I will be going for my fourth title. My training has started and I will be using the Great North Run this weekend gauge my body," she told Nation Sport.

"I really feels good to run in the same course, something I have done for three years now. I still have time to train hard but for now I must concentrate with the half marathon," said the Iten based athlete.

The athlete said running the half marathon will enable her identify areas to work on for the next two months.

"After this weekend's race, I will see what to work on and rectify for the next two months before the main race. It will be part of my training," she said.

Keitany broke a world record (women only) when she clocked 2:17:01 to better Paula Radcliff's time by 41 seconds at London Marathon in April.

During this weekend's half marathon Keitany will be joined by her pacemaker, Caroline Chepkoech, who helped her break the world record.

Chepkoech, who was a lone pacemaker in London Marathon, started the race with a high pace that helped Keitany break the record.

She ran in the Brussels Diamond League which was a final event this year and managed to come in second in 5,000m behind the World champion Hellen Obiri.

Betsy Saina will also be using the race as a build up for her major race in New York where she has been leaving for many years.

Saina ran her debut race in Tokyo Marathon in February where she didn't perform well. Her eyes are now set on the prize.

She has been doing her training in Iten and she is expected to team up with her compatriots in the race.

Defending champion Vivian Cheruiyot will also make a return to the race as she eyes to be in the podium.

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