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
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.
will mean nothing as Kamworor faces his challengers in New
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.”
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.
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.
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
“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 Wednesday.
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
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 City Marathon.
“When I think
about returning to race in New York City, I’m flooded with
magical memories,” said Flanagan.
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.”
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.