With a number of sub-2:15 runners in the field, the course record of the Edinburgh Marathon is set to come under sustained assault in the 14th edition of Scotland’s largest road race tomorrow.

The current mark of 2:15:26 seconds was set 10 years ago by Kenya’s Zachary Kihara but his compatriot David Toniok came so close to beating that time when claiming victory 12 months ago in 2:15:33 and the latter will bid to make the course record his own when he returns to defend his title.

Toniok certainly has the credentials to improve the course record, and perhaps substantially, having four times run under 2:12, although his most recent performance of that calibre came in 2013.

Now 31, and a regular training partner of Geoffrey Mutai in Kapngetuny, Toniok will get a reunion with the 2014 runner-up Japhet Koech, whose participation last time was financed by crowdfunding from the public and the fame brought by featuring in Adharanand Finn’s book ‘Running with the Kenyans’, which told of the fight of many to test themselves overseas.

“Training has been going well,” said Koech modestly, who was fifth on his Edinburgh debut two years ago.

Both will be challenged by two good newcomers to the Scottish capital with Ethiopia’s Ebisa Merga, who has a best of 2:12:03, arriving along with former Krakow Marathon winner Peter Wanjiru, while Ugandan Ben Siwa has stepped up for his first tilt at a full marathon after setting a half marathon best of 1:03:55 in Bristol last autumn.

Joan Kigen of Kenya, second at the Bournemouth Marathon in 2013 and 2014, will start as a heavy favourite in the women’s marathon, chasing a course record of 2:33:36 set by Russia’s Sinaida Semjonowa in 2003.

Courtesy of the-star.co.ke


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