World marathon record holder Dennis Kimetto is plotting to rule next month’s Chicago Marathon as he bids to revive his waning glory. With his 2:02.57 world fastest marathon time, Kimetto who set the record in 2014 at Berlin is targeting a course record in Chicago.

Chicago course record stands at 2:03.45, which he posted in 2013 before breaking world marathon mark the following year. Owing to his training after failing to finish the race at the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing, Kimetto believes he has regained his form.

“I feel very strong now, owing to the training I have had since last year and I am hopeful that I will make a comeback in Chicago,” said Kimetto, who trains at Kamwosor with his predecessor Wilson Kipsang, a former world marathon record holder.

He admitted that his performance in marathon has been waning after setting the world record. “I think it is common in sports to hit the low end after a high season. I have not done well in full marathon but the good thing is that my form is back and I am ready for the battle again,” he said.

“If things go as planned, I want to break the course record in Chicago,” he added. This will be his second appearance in Chicago and he has term it as good hunting ground. Kimetto has been covering almost 60km a day as he seeks to rebuild his endurance.

Kimetto will be up against Tokyo Marathon winner Dickson Chumba, two-time world marathon champion Abel Kirui and the 2012 Chicago winner Tsegaye Kebede of Ethiopia among other elite athletes.

Elsewhere, less than a second separated Kenyans Ishmael Chemtan and Gilbert Kirwa at last year’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon with Chemtan’s sprint proving to be the difference, earning victory in 2:09:00. The pair will renew their rivalry at the IAAF Gold Label Road Race on October 16. “I remember it was very cold during the 2015 race,” Chemtan said recently from his training base in Iten, Kenya. “My shape and preparation is better than last year. My best time is 2:08:20 and I believe I will be able to run better this year. I am looking to run under 2:08.”

Clearly, he has the ability to run much faster, having beaten athletes with superior personal best times over the years. Kirwa, for instance, has run 2:06:14. In April of this year, Chemtan finished second at the Milan Marathon, setting that 2:08:20 personal best.

Both Chemtan and Kirwa have been preparing to do battle on the streets of Canada’s largest city with the latter eager to turn the tables after coming so close a year ago. Losing in a sprint was more than just a matter of pride. It was also rather costly. The winner takes home C$25,000 with the runner-up claiming $15,000.

Course record the target.

“This year I am prepared well and I hope for a good performance,” says Kirwa. “I also see this year that there is a strong field in Toronto. If we can work together, with my competitors, I am convinced that we can run faster than last year. More so if the weather will be good and favourable then it will contribute to faster times.

“My expectation is to run good and go for the course record in Toronto (2:07:05). Training is going well and I tested myself in the Tilburg 10miles race in the Netherlands. I am in the right shape for Toronto.”

Kirwa finished fourth in Tilburg with a time of 45:40 and that is certainly an indication he is ready to duel with his compatriot again. The prize purse is a great attraction as he looks after his four brothers and three sisters. In addition, he has started a family of his own.

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