Kenya’s Weldon Kirui will defend his title at the 32nd edition of the Los Angeles Marathon title that will be held on Sunday (19) in Los Angeles, USA.
Kirui who won the last year in the slowest time for the seven year ols course cutting the tape with a time of 2:13.06 beating fellow Kenyans, Willy Koitile and Daniel Limo who has won the same race three years.
The 28 years old said, iam in great shape than last year and my aim is to win the race, but we will see on Sunday”
Another threat that Kirui will face is the 2015 winner Limo who told the press that, “It depends on the way the race goes and I’d be happy to win it again.”
No athlete has won the race twice in its current configuration. Wesley Korir of Kenya is the last back-to-back champion. He was the first to win on the current course configuration in 2010. Stephen Ndunga of Kenya won back-to-back races (2001-02). Art Boileau of Canada is also a two-time winner (1987-89).
Kirui, who was second in L.A. in 2012 and fourth in 2013, finished eighth in the Houston half-marathon in January in 1:03:01. He arrived an extra day early this year; his luggage was lost en route to Southern California last year and he had to borrow clothes and shoes in preparation for the race.
“I think the time will be better than last year,” said Kirui, who said he bought property for his family with last year’s marathon earnings.
Of the top competitors, Limo has the fastest time, having run a 2:08:39 in France in 2011. Kirui, Koitile and Elisha Barno of Kenya have all gone 2:10 or faster. The top returning American is Santa Ana’s Jose Madera, who was seventh last year in 2:17:25. Fellow American El Mabghour Karim has run a 2:17:54.
More than 24,000 competitors from 63 countries will take part Sunday, either running, in a wheelchair or with a handcycle. Forty pro athletes from 11 countries will race. It is the nation’s fourth-largest marathon field and the world’s 10th-largest.
The winner will pocket $ 23,000 as the prize money.