What you need to know:
- Defending champ Korir, strong Ethiopian charge at November 6 event
- Geoffrey Mutai holds the long-standing course record of 2:05:06 he set in 2011
Boston Marathon champion Evans Chebet will be looking to extend his winning form during the New York Marathon which goes down on November 6.
Chebet will be battling it out with defending champion Albert Korir among other top names in the elite field.
Korir stormed to victory last year after clocking two hours, 8:22 seconds ahead of Mohamed El Aaraby with 2:09:06 and Eyob Faniel came third in 2:09:56.
Four of the six Abott World Marathon Majors will be taking place this season. Berlin Marathon will be held on September 26, London Marathon on October 2, Chicago Marathon October 9 and New York Marathon in November.
In an interview with Nation Sport, Chebet said that he has started preparations to make his debut in the New York Marathon race.
He said that the race looks competitive, given that only two Kenyans will be lining up for the contest, but he will do his best.
“I have started preparations for my first New Marathon race. I understand the course is tough but I believe with good training I will be able to register good results,” said Chebet.
The athlete said that he will apply the same tactics he used to win the Boston Marathon during the New York race, and if possible, run a course record.
But this could be a tall order because since Geoffrey Mutai registered the 2:05:06 course record in 2011, no athlete has run close to that time due to weather conditions.
“I have asked around and I have been told that the course is tough, and I have to prepare well for that. Marathon racing needs a lot of calculation and you just can’t run without thinking what awaits you in the last few kilometres,” added Chebet.
At the same time, he said that there is need for athletes to travel with translators because they can use Kiswahili language to express themselves during the pre-race conference and interviews after the race.
“I feel comfortable expressing myself in Kiswahili, and I know many athletes are struggling but I think it is high time we have translators when we compete abroad just like the way Ethiopians do when they talk in Amharic,” he said.
The big names in the New York Marathon include; the 2020 London Marathon champion Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata, Brazilian Olympian Daniel Do Nascimento, Japan’s Suguru Osako who was third at the 2018 Chicago Marathon, Dutcs Olympic silver medallist and national record holder Abdi Nageeye and four-time Olympian American Galen Rupp.
World Athletics Championships marathon champion Ethiopia’s Tamirat Tola is also in the mix. He won the world having won the World Championships marathon title in Oregon, USA on July 17.
Albert Korir won the last Abott Marathon Majors series after accumulating 41 points for the 2019-2021 season.
The Abott Marathon Majors series this season began with the delayed 2021 Tokyo Marathon race which world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge won on March 6 this year. Thereafter, Chebet won the Boston Marathon title on April 18.
Ethiopia’s Tamirat Tola is also in the mix having won the World Championships marathon title last month in Oregon, USA.