NAIROBI, (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s Mary Keitany and Vivian Cheruiyot are the
best of friends, but that will be forgotten when they line up at
the New York marathon on Nov. 4.
The two first met up
close and candid in London in April with Cheruiyot holding the
who had a mission to try and run under two hours and 15 minutes
to break the world record, faded off to fourth as Cheruiyot
clinched her first major city title as she launches her career
in the 42km distance.
Now the two come
face to face yet again for bragging rights in America’s biggest
marathon race and Cheruiyot has confirmed there will be no love
“Indeed we are
friends and we do several things together. But this is
competition and I am still learning and will run my own race and
see where I end up. Winning London raised my profile, but there
are still several hurdles in bid to carve my own niche,” said
the Olympic 5,000m champion.
Cheruiyot, will join previously announced Shalane Flanagan, the
2017 winner, and 2018 Boston Marathon champion Des Linden of the
U.S, in a race that features 10 Olympians and three World
Marathon Majors race champions.
Keitany, 36, is the
women’s only marathon record-holder who finished runner-up in
this race last year after notching three successive titles.
In 2016, the Kenyan
had a dominating performance in which she surged ahead at after
21km to finish the course on a solo run in 2:24:26.
Her 3:34 margin of
victory was the greatest in the women’s race since 1980, and she
became the first able-bodied runner since Grete Waitz to win the
event three years in a row.
“I was disappointed
not to defend my title last year, but I was not 100 percent
healthy and Shalane ran a strong race,” said Keitany, the 2012
and 2016 World Marathon Majors champion.
36-year-old will be fit and healthy to take the battle to her
rivals and redeem herself after poor show in London.
In April 2017,
Keitany won her third London Marathon title, breaking the
women’s only marathon record in a blistering time of 2:17:01.
challenge to beat Paula Radcliffe male paced world marathon
record time of 2:15:25 set in 2003 remains her main goal despite
missing it in London this year.
Joining Keitany from
the international side will be two Ethiopians, reigning IAAF
World Half Marathon champion Netsanet Gudeta and Mamitu Daska,
who finished third in New York last year.
Molly Huddle, who
was third in New York in 2016, 2018 Boston Marathon runner-up
Sarah Sellers, 2016 New York runner-up Sally Kipyego, and 2017
fifth-place finisher Allie Kieffer are also in the line-up.