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October 19, 2018

Former Cherangany MP to headline elite field at Beirut Marathon

Wesley Korir cross finish line in a past race
Wesley Korir cross finish line in a past race

Kenya’s Wesley Korir will be the star attraction at the 16th edition of the Beirut Marathon on November 11, an IAAF Silver Label Road Race.

Korir, a winner of the Boston Marathon in 2012, has not raced since April 2017 but after taking time out from his political career, the 35-year-old is planning to get back to winning ways at next month’s race in the Lebanese capital.

“Everything is going well, I’m trying to get in shape after politics and run full-time again,” said Korir. “Getting a win in Beirut will give me a boost for me as I get back to the top level.”

To succeed he will have to be at his best, with Ethiopia’s Bazu Worku, who has a best of 2:05:25 and was a winner at the Houston Marathon this year, also in the field.

Kenyans Ezekial Omullo and Andrew Ben Kimutai, who have both run below 2:09, are also sure to feature.

Omullo is a three-time winner of the Warsaw Marathon, his most dominant win coming in 2016 when he set his current PB of 2:08:55, while in April this year he cruised to victory at the same race in 2:11:17.

Kimutai is also a formidable performer, the 29-year-old finishing third at the Seville Marathon earlier this year where he set his current PB of 2:08:32.

There will also be a duo of exciting prospects in Uganda’s Felix Chemonges and Morocco’s Mohamed Ahmami, who bring impressive pedigree at the shorter distances.

An interesting debutant at the distance is Kenya’s Kalipus Lomwai, who was a pacemaker at the race last year but carries a classy half marathon best of 1:01:22, which he ran to win in Hamburg in July.

Others of note include Bahrain’s Benson Seurei, who brings the best track pedigree to this test of endurance, the 34-year-old boasting an 800m personal best of 1:45.67. Since moving to the marathon he has proved himself a capable performer, finishing seventh in Barcelona earlier this year in 2:11:27.

The women’s race is set to be a wide-open contest with an international field spanning seven different nationalities. Though Kenya and Ethiopia are well represented it will come as no surprise if the title goes to one of their East African rivals, with Eritrea’s Nazret Weldu set to make her debut at the distance.

Earlier this year she finished 26th in the World Half Marathon Championships in Valencia in 1:11:45 and if she carries that form to Beirut, she will be a force to be reckoned with.

Kenyans Ednah Mukwana and Rebecca Korir are also sure to feature. Mukwana has a best of 2:30:24 which she ran to win Zhengzhou Marathon earlier this year, while Korir has a best of 2:29:16, which she ran to finish third at Rotterdam.

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