Edna Kiplagat

Edna Kiplagat at Kipchoge Keino Stadium in Eldoret on March 20, 2023.

| Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

Ageless Edna Kiplagat targets another bite of the ‘Big Apple’

What you need to know:

  • It will be Kenyan star’s sixth appearance in New York, having made her winning debut in the 2010 edition

Just like wine, Edna Kiplagat seems to be getting better and better with age. At 43, the two-time world marathon champion is not yet done with her career and is among the elite field who will tackle Sunday’s New York City Marathon.

Kiplagat shifted her base from Kenya to Colorado, USA, and will line up alongside compatriots Sharon Lokedi, who is the defending champion, Olympic champion Peres Jepchirchir, Boston Marathon title holder Hellen Obiri, former world marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei and Viola Cheptoo Lagat, second at the “Big Apple” in 2021.

First global title

Kiplagat won her first global marathon title at the 2011 World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea, and retained it two years later on the streets of Moscow.

She then bagged a silver medal at the 2017 World Athletics Championships in London, losing out to Bahrain’s Rose Chelimo in the final few metres. 

Sunday’s race across New York’s five boroughs will be a race many will be following keenly, but for Kiplagat, it’s just another day in the office. It will be her sixth appearance on the streets on New York, having made her debut in 2010 where she bagged victory, something that inspired her to continue training and competing.

“This is my job and when I wake up every morning, I just want to do it and that is possible when you have discipline.  “It has been a good season of training and as I head to the race, I will be expecting to run a nice race because it is something I love doing,” says Kiplagat.

She believes her progress in the sport has always inspired the upcoming generation due to her longevity, having made her marathon debut with a win at the Los Angeles Marathon in 2010.

“I believe when the younger generation see me competing and doing well, they would do more research and get to know why I have always remained at the top all those years and for those who are sharp, they would definitely follow what I always do to succeed in my career which has become a hobby,” she advises.

Kiplagat terms the New York City Marathon course “tricky” as it is hilly towards the end going into Central Park and if one doesn’t do his or her calculations well, it might cost them in the end.

“My experience at the New York Marathon race has taught me to be patient. I would always prefer to start it with a slow pace because in the end, the course is hilly and tough. That’s the time when one is fatigued and the body can no longer react,” she said.

On the fast marathon times witnessed recently, including the new women’s record at the Berlin Marathon where Ethiopia’s Tigst Assefa ran two hours, 11 minutes and 53 seconds, Kiplagat says apart from development of shoe technology, the age factor has also contributed a lot.

“We are going to witness faster times because if you look at those who are breaking world records, they are young and the technology has also helped in lowering previous records.

“We need to celebrate them because that’s sportsmanship,” said Kiplagat.

The New York City Marathons course record marks its 20th year, having been set by Kenya’s Margaret Okayo at 2:22:31 in 2003.