Former World Half Marathon record holder Peris Jepchirchir will be looking forward to reclaim the Ras Khaimah Half Marathon title next month.
The athlete, who is making a comeback after a year-long maternity leave, has been traversing the tea plantations in Kapsabet and Nandi Hills in Nandi County where she trains.
“I’m happy I will be going back to RAK Half Marathon next month after good training and my target is to lower my personal best and if possible go for the record,” the athlete, who is coached by her husband Davis Ng’eno, told Nation Sport at her home in Kapsabet after her long run.
Jepchirchir, who will making her third appearance in the United Arabs Emirates race, said she loves the course as it allows for a fast-paced race.
“I want to see how my body reacts as my build up towards an international marathon continues. I’m yet to know which race I will participate in but I’m targeting April,” she said.
She said her training has been going on well since her comeback after maternity leave and she will be using the race as part of preparation for her international marathon debut which is yet to be confirmed by management.
In her marathon debut in November last year, Jepchirchir ran a brilliant race in Kass International Marathon in Eldoret where she finished third in 2:39:16 behind Cynthia Jerop (2:39:16) and second-placed Beatrice Ruto (2:45:07).
“I had trained for only six months for Kass but was surprised after emerging third. That gave me belief to continue working hard in training where I want to have a successful transition from half marathon to marathon races,” said the athlete.
“Breaking the record is something good and I have been there before. I want to be in the history books again and if I miss it at RAK, I will be going for the full marathon record in future,” Jepchirchir, who looks up to Mary Keitany for inspiration, said.
Jepchirchir shattered Florence Kiplagat’s world record in 2017 after timing 1:05:06 in RAK Half Marathon.
Another Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei lowered the record in Prague in April the same year after clocking 1:04:52.
Jepkosgei later broke her own record by one second in Valencia, Spain in October when she clocked 1:04:51.