Four-time New York Marathon champion, Mary Keitany has set her sights on breaking the world record next year.
Speaking on arrival from the Big Apple yesterday, Keitany said if she was to receive an invite to run in Berlin next year, she would attempt to break the record of 2:15:25 set by Britain’s Paula Radcliffe in 2003. “I’m confident with the right conditions and with my current form, I can break the world record or improve on my personal best time,” added Keitany
Keitany’s personal best in the marathon is 2:17:01, which is also all-women’s world record, set in London last year. Keitany, who clocked 2:22:48 to win her fourth crown in New York, missed the course record by 17 seconds and believes that if the Ethiopian rivals had kept pace, she would have smashed the course record.
“I had no idea that I was 17 seconds outside the course record pace in New York. I think if the Ethiopian athletes had kept pace, we would have broken the course record,” she added. Keitany said she is delighted to have won the New York after under-performing in the last event due to illness. She said she will take a break to recover before resuming her training in the new year ahead of the 2019 season.
“I will take a break to spend time with my family and start my preparations in the new year. I will work with my management team on where we will run next year,” added Keitany, who is also a three-time London marathon champion.
Elsewhere, reigning Commonwealth Games 5,000m bronze medallist Edward Zakayo will be seeking to kill three birds with one stone as he starts a series of cross country meetings across the world this weekend.
After stunning Seleman Barega in 5,000m during the World U-20 Championships in Tampere, Finland for his first ever gold in his career, Zakayo hopes to extend his form in the cross series in Spain. The Form 3 student at Kasait Secondary School in Elgeyo Marakwet County said he will be seeking to reclaim some of the titles he has lost to other nations in the past one year.
Zakayo will feature in the International cross country on Sunday in Pingua before moving to Soria Spain a week later. Campo meeting has been dominated by Ugandan runners in the recent three years and Emmanuel Bett is the only Kenyan to have won the title ( 2013 ) in the recent past. He said the series is part of his build-up for the World Cross Country Championships in Aarhus, Denmark in March. “Cross country is key for me as I plan to compete at the World Cross Country Championships,” said Zakayo. The Africa Athletics championships 5,000m champion will end the Spain tour with Cross International De la Constitution on November 25.