NAIROBI, Kenya, April 19 – Robert Kipkoech Cheriuyot on Monday will be out to defend his Boston Marathon title which he clinched for the fourth time last year.
The 30 year old who holds the course record of 2:07:14 seconds hopes to become only the second person to have more than four wins at one of the world’s premier marathons that starts at 5.15 p.m. Kenyan time.
Only American Clarence Demar, a 1924 Olympic marathon bronze medalist has more Boston Marathon wins (7).
A win for Cheruiyot will undoubtedly make him go down in the event’s folklore as one of the greatest runners to have graced the course.
Robert’s main challengers to his crown will come from his namesakes, Evans Cheruiyot and last year’s Frankfurt Marathon champion Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot.
Apart from his fellow Kenyans, Cheruiyot should also be wary of American Ryan Hall who will be making his Boston Marathon debut.
Hall who has a personal best of 2:06:17, is the fastest American marathoner over the last couple of years and finished fifth in last year’s London marathon.
Despite being running in Halls’s country, Cheruiyot may use his knowledge of the course to outwit Hall and the other Kenyans which also include 2004 champion Timothy Cherigat and Daniel Rono.
Deriba merga of Ethiopia could also have a say in the 113th edition of this event.
Salina Kosgei, Alice Timbilili and Helen Kiprop will be flying Kenya’s flag in the women’s event.
The trio will have to contend with defending champion Dire Tune of Ethiopia whose narrow victory in last year’s event show that she has the capability to push until the end.
Russia’s Galina Bogomolova and 2007 champion Lidia Grigoryeva are also amongst the favourites to cross the tape first.