Former 10,000m world champion Linet Masai returns to the Amsterdam Marathon on Sunday looking to go two better and secure a podium finish.
Masai finished fifth last year with a time of 2:23:46, more than half a minute behind the race winner Ethiopia’s Tadelech Bekele who clocked 2:23:14.
Linet, who has been training at Kaptagat in Elgeyo Marakwet, said she has prepared well ahead of the big race.
She told Nation Sport that her compatriot Brigid Kosgei has driven her motivation after smashing the women's 16-year world record in a time of 2:14:4 in the Chicago Marathon last Sunday. Briton Paula Radicliffe set the previous record of 2:15.25 in the London Marathon in 2003.
“Since I came back back from London Marathon in April, I have been preparing for Amsterdam Marathon. I’m looking forward to a good race.
I want to be on the podium,” said Masai, who has a personal best of 2:23:46.
Linet said she gauged her readiness during the Great North Run Half Marathon race in September in which she came third. Kosgei, who clocked the fastest time in half marathon, won the race and Linet's younger sister, Magdalene Masai, was second.
She said even though she is the only Kenyan in the Amsterdam race, she is unmoved by her rivals.
She said that she had fine tuned her training and was ready for the battle ahead.
Linet was 11th after clocking 2:26:06 during last April's London Marathon. Chicago Marathon champion Kosgei timed 2:18:20 to win the race.
In Amsterdam, Masai will be up against Ethiopians Azmera Gebru (2:22:52), Guteni Shone (2:23:32), Shasho Insermu (2:2328) and Tigist Tirma (2:26:34), among others.
Linet, who has been training in Eldoret and Kaptagat under the watchful eye of coach Patrick Sang, said she was expecting a good race.
Magdalene will also be competing on the same day in the Toronto Marathon.
“My partners and I trained well without a hitch. I will be competing on the same day that my sister will also be running on the streets of The Netherlands. We have encouraged each other to return home with good results,” Magdalene told Nation Sport.