NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The prospect of running a personal best time is
what drives Kenya’s Geoffrey Kamworor as he puts his title on
the line at the New York Marathon on November 4.
champion has run sparingly this year, competing only at the
World Half Marathon in Valencia in March which he won for a
record third consecutive time.
However, that will
mean nothing as Kamworor faces his challengers in New York.
“Racing once more in
the New York City Marathon means so much to me,” said the
three-time world cross-country champion.
“It is my favorite
race, and although thousands of miles separate my training base
in Kaptagat, Kenya from New York, the event feels like home.”
Kamworor will be
joined by women’s defending champion Shalane Flanagan of the
United States in the IAAF Gold Label road race, which is a World
Marathon Major (WMM) event. The other five big city marathons
are in Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin and Chicago.
At last year’s race,
Kamworor claimed his first major marathon victory, while
Flanagan became the first U.S. woman to win in New York since
Miki Gorman did so in 1977.
Kamworor held off
compatriot Wilson Kipsang down the final turns to win last year.
The 2015 runner-up separated himself from the field with a 4:31
penultimate mile to finish in 2:10:53.
Kamworor has won the
past three IAAF World Half Marathon Championships and has run
the marathon in less than two hours and seven minutes three
times at the Berlin Marathon from 2012 to 2014, with his 2:06:12
performance from 2012 remaining his personal best.
“The goal is to try
to run faster and see if I can challenge my personal best. But
equally important is for me to win the race and plan for the
2019 World Championships,” said Kamworor in Eldoret on
In the women’s race,
Flanagan ended a 40-year drought for U.S. women at the 2017 New
York City Marathon by seizing victory from Kenya’s Mary Keitany
in a time of 2:26:53.
With her first
victory in just her second appearance at the New York City
Marathon - she was runner-up in her marathon debut in 2010 -
Flanagan became the sixth U.S. women’s champion in the event.
The 16-time national
champion and Olympic silver medalist will join previously
announced Des Linden, the 2018 Boston Marathon champion, and
Allie Kieffer, the fifth-place finisher at last year’s New York
“When I think about
returning to race in New York City, I’m flooded with magical
memories,” said Flanagan.
“My heart skips a
beat, I get butterflies in my stomach, and my palms get sweaty.
New York City is incredibly special to me. It’s where I ran my
first marathon in 2010, placing second, and of course, my
dream-come-true moment in 2017 when I won.”
Keitany, who has not
raced since finishing fourth at the London Marathon in April, is
yet to announce her next race. However, New York remains one of
her target events.