Kenya’s Benard Rotich will defend his title at the 39th edition of the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon that will be held on Sunday (28) in Dublin, Ireland.
The 32 year-old comes to this race with a personal best of 2:10.18 that he got at the 2011 Frankfurt marathon will be hoping to keep his title.
Rotich clocked a time of 2:15.53 when winning in Dublin last year and was fractionally faster in 2:15.44 when finishing third in the Zurich Marathon last April.
This Sunday’s race might bring some challenges as he faces tough challengers from Kenya that include Vincent Tonui, Eric Koech and Joel Kiptoo.
Koech won the won the Belfast Marathon last May in 2:18.17, following that up with a second in the Walled Marathon in Derry in 2:25.39, while Kiptoo won the Edinburgh Marathon last May in 2:13.33. Then there’s Josphat Jepkopol who won the Taipei Marathon in both 2012 and 2013. He ran 30.58 in the Johannesburg 10km a few weeks ago
Dublin regular, Asefa Bekele from Ethiopia, who held on to Rotich last year until the halfway point to cross the line in third place 2:16.00. The Ethiopian also finished in third in 2016 and second in 2015.
The four elites will be targeting to lower the race course record of 2:08.33 that was set by Kenyan Geoffrey Ndungu in 2011.
Ireland’s Last year’s national champion Gary O’Hanlon who ran a personal best of 2:18.53 will be joined by Sergiu Ciobanu and David Flynn. In September, O’Hanlon won the master’s category in Berlin Marathon and won the Cork City Marathon in June. Flynn won the 2018 SSE Airtricity Dublin Half Marathon in 1.06.21. Dublin will be his debut marathon. Stephen Scullion will not line up as he is recovering from injury.