Just like wine, double world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat seems to be getting better with age.
While many marathon runners will always settle for a maximum two big races in a year, Kiplagat, the reigning Boston Marathon champion, will be lining up for her third at this weekend’s New York Marathon.
The 38-year-old star won the Boston Marathon in April and was pipped at the death to settle for silver at the IAAF World Championships in London in August. That she will be lining up for her third major race inside 12 months in New York title is exceptional!
“My preparations went on well and I’ll be looking forward to a good race where I want to be on the podium this Sunday,” said a confident Kiplagat before she flew out to the “Big Apple” on Tuesday evening.
The Iten-based veteran hopes to bounce back after winning the 2010 edition in two hours, 28 minutes and 20 seconds in a race her Iten neighbour Mary Keitany finished third in 2:29:01.
Incidentally, Keitany is the defending champion and will be gunning for her fourth title on Sunday, with Iten set to hold a big viewing party sponsored by the Bank of Africa at the Keellu Resort owned by former world marathon champion Wilson Kipsang who will also be in the men’s field in New York.
“I’m happy that we will be competing with my good friend and neighbour Keitany. Having won there in 2010, I want to try my best and bring the title though I know it will be a tough race,” said Kiplagat.
In August, Kiplagat was beaten in the last few kilometres by Nandi-born Rose Chelimo, who runs for Bahrain, and settled for a silver medal.
“After the World Championships, I had enough time to recover and start my training which has been good. My husband, who is also my coach, Gilbert Koech, has been of great help to me,” she said.
“I believe in good training ahead of a major race because that determines my performance ahead of the big race,” she added.
She has been training both in Iten and Eldoret.
Kiplagat, now in her 20th year of elite long distance running, boasts of two world gold medals from the Daegu (2011) and Moscow (2013) world championships, in addition to the silver she won in London last August.
She also has silver and bronze medals from the World Junior Championships held in Sydney (1996) and Annecy (1998), both in the 3,000 metres.
She has also participated in London Marathon where she was third in 2011, second in 2012 and 2013, won in 2014 and 11th in 2015.
In 2016, she was in the Tokyo Marathon line-up where she placed third before coming in second in Chicago Marathon the same year.
The duo will face stiff competition from Ethiopians Mare Dibaba, Tigist Tufa and Mamitu Daska.
In the men’s category, Kenya will be represented by Tokyo Marathon champion Wilson Kipsang, two-time World Cross Country champion Geoffrey Kamworor and Lucas Rotich.
Born: September 15th 1979
Residence: Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County
Events: 3,000, 5,000, 10,000, 10km, 15km, Marathon