•She confirmed that after dominating half marathons, she will be chasing top honours in Valencia Marathon.
•She said she is not yet done with her season and Valencia will crown it all
Newly crowned world half marathon champion Peres Jepchirchir has turned her focus on Valencia Marathon set for December 6 following her exploits in Gdynia, Poland over the weekend.
She bettered the women’s-only half marathon world record when she took gold in a closely-fought race.
Jepchirchir, 27, finished in a time of one hour, five minutes and 16 seconds to improve her own mark set in Prague last month, claiming the title for the second time having won it in Cardiff in 2016.
She confirmed that after dominating half marathons, she will be chasing top honours in Valencia Marathon. “My focus has now shifted to the Valencia Marathon, where I do not only want to win the title but also post a better time. The race in Gdynia, Poland, was part of my build-up for Valencia and I am happy I won it,” said Jepchirchir while in Poland.
She said she is not yet done with her season and Valencia will crown it all. “I want to run at least 2:18 or 2:19 and join the list of great marathoners in the world. The line-up for Valencia looks classy and I can’t miss the opportunity to rub shoulders with the best,” she noted.
She dedicated her title to her family back home in Nandi County as well as Kenyans, who have always supported her.
“The race was tough but I was psyched up to reclaim the title I last won in 2016 in Cardiff. It wasn’t easy winning the race and the record was a bonus for me. I started preparations as soon as I was named in the team. However, I intensified my training two weeks ago and I am happy I was able to fly the country’s flag high,” she added.
Jepchirchir missed the 2018 edition as she was on maternity leave with Ethiopia’s Netsanet Gudeta capitalising on the situation to win the title.
Former world Half marathon record holder, Joyciline Jepkosgei finished sixth in season best of 1:05:58 with Brillian Jepkorir posting a person best of 1:06:56 for ninth place. Rosemary Wanjiru (1:07:10) and Dorcas Kimeli (1:07:55) were 10th and 11th respectively.
Jepchirchir trains in Kapsabet alongside a pacemaker and her husband, Davis Ngeno, who was once a competitive runner.
Also headed to Valencia is Morris Munene, who enjoys 2:06.24 set during the 2019 Amsterdam Marathon. Munene finished a poor 47th position in 1:02.30 at the World Half Marathon over the weekend in Poland. He said he is keen to improve on his time when he lines up in Valencia.
“Despite finishing a disappointing 47th position in Poland, this will be my motivation when I line-up for Valencia Marathon in Spain,” said Munene.