Defending champ Kiptoo faces fourth race this year at Guadalajara Marathon in Mexico

NAIROBI, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) — Defending champion Caroline Jebiwot Kiptoo of Kenya returns to Mexico keen to erase any doubts of her ability as she targets to retain the trophy at the Guadalajara marathon on Sunday.

It will be the fourth race for the Kenyan runner after picking up a win in Calgary Marathon (Canada), finishing sixth at the Ciudad de Mexico Marathon and second in Colombia.

The 33-year-old has said she feels okay and not at any risk of burning out.

“I feel strong because I have had two months to rest since running in Colombia. I hope to secure my second win in Mexico and first this year. I will return home to rest after this. My season will be over until 2019. But there will be strong challenge from South American runners, but I believe in my strategy and strength,” Kiptoo said on Saturday.

Musa Babo Ido of Ethiopia is the men’s defending champion and will also be back to secure his prize.

Ido, who has 2:13:26 lifetime best from the 2017 Zhengzhou Marathon, will take on Moroccan Abdelkabir Saji, who clocked 2:13:44 in Marrakech in January and Kenyan Milton Kiplagat Rotich, whose 2:11:15 best came at the Valencia Marathon in 2016.

In the women’s race, Kiptoo will face compatriot Nancy Jebichi Arusei, who has a lifetime best of 2:32:54 set in April’s Santiago Marathon.

That’s nearly seven minutes faster than that of Kiptoo.

They will face an Ethiopian contingent that includes Bilo Basanke, who clocked 2:34:02 for fourth in the Rabat Marathon in March; Lemlem Berha, who clocked 2:29:42 at the Kosice Peace Marathon in 2013; and Belaynesh Shifera, who brings 2:31:08 credentials from the 2015 Barcelona Marathon.

The course records have proved difficult to beat in the warm climate of Mexico’s second largest city and capital of the Pacific state of Jalisco.

The men’s record of 2:14:00 was set by Kenyan Christopher Toroitich Kiprotich in 2008 while the women’s mark of 2:35:55, set by Mexican Adriana Fernandez, dates back to 2009.

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