What to look forward to watching in the remaining World Marathon Majors, A View from Kenya, by Justin Lagat


Kamworor_Geoffrey-Beijing15.JPGGeoffrey Kamworor, photo by PhotoRun.net

With a month after the World Champs, Justin Lagat makes some predictions on how athletes will fare and run on the roads over the next couple months.

What to look forward to watching in the remaining World Marathon Majors, by Justin Lagat
At a restaurant in Eldoret, I almost won myself the exact kind of racing shoes that Eliud Kipchoge was running in during the Berlin Marathon today from a marathon runner who plans to run a big marathon in October using the same kind of shoes. He has tested the new shoes only once in his training and said they felt so light and comfortable. However, as he watched the in-soles coming out of Kipchoge's shoes, he told me he did not want any disaster happening to him during his upcoming race and actually asked me to go to his house and see if I can take the shoes, but reconsidered his offer when Eliud Kipchoge still won the race despite the mishap.
Many more exciting moments are going to happen in the remaining two major races, the Chicago and the New York city marathons.
Below are some of what I will be looking forward to watch:
First of all, it shall definitely be exciting to see how a reigning world half marathon and cross country champion, also fresh from winning a 10,000m silver medal at the world championships, will do in a major city marathon. Geoffrey Kamworor will be running in the New York City marathon about three months after running at the IAAF world championships. Mo Farah, who had beaten him in Beijing went ahead to run a successful half marathon where he fought hard to the finish line with Stanley Biwot at the Great North Run. Coincidentally, Biwot will also be running against Kamworor in New York.
Another thing that shall be interesting to watch is whether we are about to see new stars emerging in marathon running after watching the upsets that happened at the world championships. Stephen Kiprotich, Dennis Kimetto and Wilson Kipsang failed to medal at the world championships and they will need to run impressively and assure their fans that the results in Beijing were only due to the harsh weather conditions and that they will be going back to their winning ways. Ednah Kiplagat will also have to demonstrate that she is still on top and that she still deserves another chance to represent Kenya at the Olympic Games in Rio next year.
Mary Keitany ran a solo run recently during the Great North Run half marathon. It was a great indication of the great shape she is currently in and it will be exciting to see how she will run in New York. The highly talented runner, who many see as the one with the potential to break the women's marathon record, only came back to training last year after her maternity leave, but she came back and immediately picked up from where she left by winning the New York Marathon. She will be seeking to defend her title this year.
Exciting to see will also be Sally Kipyego, who will make her debut in the New York Marathon, but in a loaded field that include Priscah Jeptoo, Caroline Rotich, Tigist Tufa, Helah Kiprop, Aselefech Mergia and Buzunesh Deba.
Looking at the World Marathon Majors' leader board: the names are different from those on the medal standings at the world championships. In the remaining races, it will be worth observing whether world championship runners are different from the major city marathon runners. Helah Kiprop was the best placed Kenyan woman at the world championships having won a silver medal behind Ethiopia's Mare Dibaba. Will she continue to be the best women marathon runner from Kenya?
Also, with the absence of Eliud Kipchoge in Chicago this year, will Sammy Kitwara, who ran with him to the final stages of the race last year, finally get to win his first major marathon? The men's elite field though is very competitive. Abera Kuma, Dickson Chumba Tsegaye Kebede Endeshaw Negesse Tilahun Regassa Wesley Korir Sammy Ndungu and Lucas Rotich, among others, will be on the starting line.

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