Edna Ng’eringwony Kiplagat enjoys a rare and unique athletics lifestyle — a mix of cultural blend and befitting topographical setting.
And her bristling talent, nurtured deep in hilly terrains will be put to test when she guns for a second bite at the cherry when this year’s Virgin London Marathon on April 26.
Edna credits her tremendous form in flat and energy-sapping courses to her rural homes’ undulating terrain. She will carry her 2011 (third place) and runner-up finishes in 2012 and 2013 alongside 2014 victory as she heads for a fifth stab in United Kingdom’s flagship race.
“I am ready for London Marathon. I have an advantage of having competed in London four times and I must perform well for me to defend my title at the world championships in Beijing, China, in August. I really want to be a three-time world champion,” Edna yesterday told FeverPitch in Eldoret.
If her brilliant shows in Daegu (2011) and Moscow (2013) world championships are anything to go by, then Edna is no doubt another typical Kenyan runner, who will take your breath away as she easily crushes opposition while looking at ease.
Born a short distance from the scenic beauty of Torok Falls on the sidelines of the Elgeyo escarpment, Edna would train with football while herding her family’s goats at the nearby Kaptagat Forest. She also used to trek to their ancestral farmlands in Kerio Valley.
The women’s elite field features seven sub 2:22 marathoners and more than 10 others, who have dipped under 2:25 mark. And Edna stands out among the best four — Florence Kiplagat, who finished second, 2013 winner Prisca Jeptoo and Mary Keitany, the 2011 and 2012 winner — all chasing the ‘Virgin Money’.
“When I get out for training in Iten, I meet Florence from my left side and Mary Keitany on the other side; all training. That sends some strong signals that everybody is preparing well for it,” said Edna.
Edna, an alumnus of Kipsoen Secondary School in Keiyo North added: “We cannot predict the times because when there are too many too runners, they tend to fear each other.”
Edna is expected to take home the Sh43m ($500,000) World Marathon Majors prize as she was second in the women’s leader board after Rita Jeptoo was banned for two years after she tested positive for prohibited substance, EPO.
Courtesy of standardmedia.co.ke