Ishhimael Chemtan and Gilbert Kirwa will renew their rivalry at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in October (16).
Chemtan beat Kirwa with a sprint finish at the tape last year and were separated by seconds as Chemtan clocked 2:09.00 with Kirwa coming in second.
“I remember it was very cold during the 2015 race,” Chemtan said recently from his training base in Iten. “My body has responded well in training and cant wait for the battle. My best time is 2:08:20 and I believe I will be able to run better this year. I am looking to run under 2:08,” He said.
This year Kirwa has run the best time ever of 2:06:14, while in April of this year Chemtan finished 2nd in the Milan Marathon setting personal best 0f 2:08:20.
Both Chemtan and Kirwa have been preparing to battle on the streets of Canada’s largest city with the latter eager to turn the tables after coming so close a year ago. Losing in a sprint was more than just a matter of pride. It was also rather costly.
“This year I am prepared well and I hope for a good performance,” says Kirwa. “I also see this year that there is a strong field in Toronto. If we can work together, with my competitors, I am convinced that we can run faster than last year. More so if the weather will be good and favourable then it will contribute to faster times.
“My expectation is to run good and go for the course record in Toronto [2:07:05]. Training is going well and I tested myself in the Tilburg 10miles race in the Netherlands. I am in the right shape for Toronto.”
Kirwa finished 4th in Tilburg with a time of 45:40 and that is certainly an indication he is ready to duel with his compatriot again. The prize purse is a great attraction as he looks after his four brothers and three sisters. In addition, he has started a family of his own.
“I have a family with two boys,” he adds. “I don’t have any other business apart from investments. I am a landlord to tenants who make monthly payments to me.”
There is a C$35,0000 course record bonus, that escalates to C$50,000 if the time is under 2:06:00. The existing record of 2:07:05 has been held by Ethiopia’s Deressa Chimsa since 2013. It has withstood the challenge of some excellent distance runners since then.
The course record was set by Ethiopia’s Deresa Chimsa in 2013 and it still stands. There is a bonus of C35,000 if anyone runs under 2:06.00 and the prize money is C$25,000 with the runner up claiming C$15,000.