Two times Rotterdam marathon champion Marius Kimutai and two time Africa Athletics champion Mathew Kisorio will face off in this year’s Valencia marathon to be staged on 2nd December in Spain.
Speaking on Saturday after competing at the anti-Rabbis race, second edition of Rabbis Free Kenya 10km Road Run held on Saturday in Nandi County, the duo were optimistic they will be carrying the title back home.
Valencia marathon has been dominated by Kenyans and for the last eight years in a row, Kenyans have been winning the title with Sammy Kitwara holding the course record of 2:05.15 after winning the 2017 title.
The 2017 Amsterdam marathon champion, Kimutai won the race Kimutai in 27:02.02 ousting 2017 Daegu marathon champion Kisorio, who will be competing together in Valencia.
Boosting of his personal best in 42kk at 2:05.47 when he won the 2016 Amsterdam marathon, Kimutai said he competed in the race as part of training ahead of Valencia among other short races in the country.
“Today’s race was too competitive and never knew that I will win but winning was not in focus since I have set my focus to compete in Valencia. Today was my training,” said Kimutai.
Kimutai won the Rotterdam marathon in 2016 before defending his title in 2016 as Kenneth Kipkemoi won in 2017.
He added that the route has always been part of his training course daily and understand it better that was great for him to win.
Kisorio, who won the Africa 5,000m and 10,000m junior titles finished second timing 27:07.06 while upstart Edward Kibet completed the podium.
“I did not plan to compete in this race but I saw it good, since the race course passes near my home, I decided to run as part of my training. This is a good motivation to young people who can emulate me and take athletics seriously, knowing that event those athletes who compete abroad can also take part in this region,” said Kisorio.
Elsewhere former world half marathon bronze medalist Pascalia Jepkorir is set to compete in one of the races in China.
Jepkorir defeated Joyce Chepkemei to lift the title following her second stab locally arranged road races, ran shoulder to shoulder with Jepkemei after they stepped into the lead at 4km. But experienced Jepkorir sped off to win in 32:12 while Chepkemei was second in 32:22 before Betty Lembus completed the podium clocking 32:42.
“I will be going to China for a marathon so this was part of my training. At the same time, this is my home and I had to compete well,” said Jepkorir who was in the Kenya team for the 2018 world half marathon in Valencia.