Kenya's Ruto to face stiff challenge in Beirut Marathon

File Photo - Dominic Kipngetich Ruto
IANS|08-Nov-2017 21:57

Nairobi, Nov 8 - Kenya's Dominic Kipngetich Ruto will face a stiff challenge from defending champion Edwin Kiptoo at the Beirut Marathon, starting on November 12.

The 27-year-old Ruto is amongst the fastest in the elite field and, earlier this year, he recorded a new personal best time of 2:09:08 at the Rome Marathon knocking 20 seconds off his previous best, reports Xinhua news agency. "My training for the Beirut marathon has been quite good so far," Ruto said on Wednesday.

"I skipped a race in China in September but I got a tendon injury and I had to reschedule my plans. Recent workouts have gone well giving me a feeling that I can try to be competitive," he added.

"I don't know much about Beirut but marathon is an adventure. I only hope to have my body responding well on that day and, of course, I will try my best. I am not really after any final time but I hope to competitive enough to finish on the podium," he added. 

Also Read - "Kenya Olympic champ Sumgong banned for four years"

Since turning professional, Ruto has trained in a group alongside such marathon stalwarts as Amos Kipruto who has a 2:05:43 personal best, Dickson Chumba a former winner of both the Tokyo and Chicago Marathons and who boasts a personal best of 2:04:32; and Evans Chebet, who's clocked 2:05:31, among others.

Their sessions are planned and overseen by famed Italian coach Claudio Berardelli. All managed by agent Gianni DeMadonna. Earnings from Beirut would be turned into his home and could come at a particularly useful time.

He is getting married in December. "I don't know much about the Beirut marathon," he said. "I think it is not really a fast course but I heard it is getting bigger and bigger. I believe winning Beirut marathon might give me a good exposure for my future races," he added.

This year's course changes have made the chance for faster times possible. Indeed, the event record of 2:11:04 set in 2015 by fellow Kenyan Jackson Limo would earn a further $3,000 in addition to the winner's purse of $10,000.