When Florence Kiplagat and Moses Mosop make their marathon debut in Boston next Monday, they will not be the first husband-and-wife pair to compete in the same 42-kilometre race.
But they will be the highest rated couple to have lined up for the annual race.
Buoyant after her victory at the World Half Marathon Championships in Nanning, China, last year, Kiplagat is ready to test the waters in the full marathon along the Boston streets.
Her husband Mosop won silver at the 2007 World Cross Country Championships in Mombasa, and has also decided to launch a career in the marathon.
Mosop won the Milan half marathon last year and has shaken off a knee injury he encountered in a fall while training.
Target of finishing the race
Although Kiplagat has competed in only two 21km road races in her short career, the 2009 World Cross Country Championships gold medallist is ready to take her game a notch higher.
“I want to see how my body will react to it (the marathon).
“I will run in Boston and have the target of finishing the race and then see where that will leave me in the rankings,” she said.
Kiplagat, 23, has been struggling with a hamstring injury, but hopes it will not recur to spoil her debut performance.
“I have opted to try my luck in marathon. I have tried to run with spikes in track and cross country without success.
“Whenever I run, I feel the pain and when I sit down, it gets worse. That has not been the case when I run in road races,” she said.
Since her victory in Jordan at the 2009 global cross country championships, Kiplagat has been inconsistent and a serious hamstring injury has taken the wind out of her sails.
“I train with experienced athletes like (Kenya-born Dutchwoman) Lornah Kiplagat and they are giving me good advice on how to progress.
“I will try, although I know it is not an easy task to win a marathon.
“When I ran the half marathon for the first time in France last year, I never thought I would win that race. But that was my race,” Kiplagat said.