Perth-based Kenyan Isaac Birir, will be targeting to defend his title at the 40th edition of the Melbourne Marathon that will he held on Sunday (14) in Melbourne, Australia.
The 38 year-old who was forced to immigrate to Australia by his wife Joycline last November, is set to face a still challenge from Wilson Chebon whom he beat in August during the City to Surf Marathon.
After taking top honors at the last year’s edition in a time of 2:14.08, the Perth based athlete who has applied for permanent stay said, “My wife told me she wanted come to Australia and it was a big fight between me and my wife. “But after today I’m loving her choice. I’ve put an application in for permanent residency and hopefully they can see from today’s result that I have the talent.”
Birir will be targeting to try and lower the course record time of 2:10.47 that was set in 2013 by Dominic Ondoro from Kenya.
Last year Birir passed his compatriot John Langat just outside the stadium to claim his win forcing his fellow country-mate to settle in second eighteen seconds later.
Race organisers have assembled a tough field hoping to register fast times.