What you need to know:
- Two-time world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat leads her compatriots Viola Lagat, who was second last year, Grace Kahura, who finished ninth, and debutant Hellen Obiri
- Kahura might not be as well known as the other elite athletes, but she’ll enjoy the advantage of training in Colorado, USA, in perfect pre-race conditions
- She also said that competing in New York Marathon for the second time is an honour and that she is still in the learning process
Sunday’s New York City Marathon will be a largely Kenyan affair.
Even after the withdrawal of the defending champion Peres Jepchirchir, the field remains open with another Kenyan almost certain to keep the title in the country.
Two-time world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat leads her compatriots Viola Lagat, who was second last year, Grace Kahura, who finished ninth, and debutant Hellen Obiri.
Kahura will be competing in the “Big Apple” for the second time this year, seeking to improve on her personal best time of two hours, 30 minutes and 32 seconds.
She might not be as well known as the other elite athletes, but she’ll enjoy the advantage of training in Colorado, USA, in perfect pre-race conditions.
Kahura told Nation Sport from her US base recently that she has been preparing for the race in the last four months without any hitches. “The marathon is tough, but I have prepared well and my target is to compete well during the race because I don’t want to mess my body for I know my fitness levels,” said Kahura.
She also said that competing in New York Marathon for the second time is an honour and that she is still in the learning process.
“The New York Marathon course is tough… I used to watch athletes compete in the race and it used to be so windy so I entered last year prepared and I’m glad it wasn’t that bad.
“When going for such race, you have to be prepared for anything because challenges might arise and you have to face them,” she said.
Competing with one of the greatest marathoners of all time, Edna Kiplagat, has also motivated her to even work harder.
“I watched Kiplagat competing while in primary school and competing with her in the same race now has really inspired me.
“My joy is interacting with her as she is full of wisdom and always has good advice on how to be world beater,” she added.
Kahura joined Colorado’s Boulder University in 2016 and graduated last year in Business and Accounting but wants to focus on being a professional athlete.
She was born in Kanjeru in Kiambu County on April 5, 1993, and went to Ngure Primary School and later Kanjeru Girls High School where she sat her exams in 2011.
It is here that her coach, John Mwithiga, popularly known as “warm-up”, took her to a camp where she started training as she waited for a chance to join university. At the University of Colorado, her focus was on education and she only started training seriously after she graduated.
While in school, she competed in Utica Boilmaker 15-kilometre road race where she finished 10th in 2016, before coming in seventh at the Indianapolis One America Festival Mini Marathon the same year.
From then on, she has competed in various races including Grandma’s Marathon in 2018 and 2021 where she finished fourth on both occasions.
She has been training on her own, but under the guidance of Owen Anderson, her American agent whom she says has been sending her training programmes to help her prepare for elite races.