Former World Half Marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir is optimistic that she will improve her personal best when she lines up on Friday for the Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Half Marathon in the United Arabs Emirates.
Jepchirchir said she has trained well and she is ready to face her competitors whom she said appeared tough.
“I have done good preparations and finished my training programme. I will be waiting for the race and I pray that the weather will be good so that I can improve on my personal best,” she said.
Jepchirchir who trains in Kapsabet, Nandi County, further told Nation Sport that even though she would be competing against the best in the world, she won’t be cowed. She promised to give her best shot.
“The race will be a fast one, since two athletes will be looking to break the world record,” Jepchirchir said.
In 2017, the athlete broke two world records, but her celebrations were cut short a month later when compatriot Joyciline Jepkosgei clocked the fastest time of 1:04:52 in Prague Half Marathon before lowering her own time to 1:04:51.
Jepchirchir who hardly basked in the glory of setting a world record is determined to perform even better. She said: “I might not get the world record but I will be looking forward to improve my personal best as I seek to venture into full marathon races.”
Jepchirchir plans to make her debut in Boston Marathon in April where she will be seeking a podium finish.
“I will be using the half marathon to gauge my preparedness for the Boston Marathon. After the RAK Half Marathon, I will return home and focus on the big race,” Jepchirchir said.
In the RAK Half Marathon, Jepchirchir will be competing against women’s world marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei, the third fastest runner over the distance Fancy Chemutai, Joan Chelimo and debutant Rosemary Wanjiru.
It is not lost on the Kenyan competitors that the World Half Marathon champion, Netsanet Gudeta, from Ethiopia will also be eyeing a podium finish.
Jepchirchir has been enjoying a stellar performance. After competing in various races locally, her career took shape in 2014 when she won the Le Lion Half Marathon in a course record of 69:12.
During the 2015 season, Jepchirchir competed in a number of races before signing up for the RAK Half Marathon the following year. She finished fourth in the race that was won by compatriot Cynthia Limo.