Kenya’s Keitany returns to action at New York Mini 10km race

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Nairobi, May 22 (IANS) World marathon record holder Mary Keitany of Kenya will return to action on June 9 in New York just two months after failing to improve on her mark at the London Marathon.

Keitany is the reigning champion for the New York Mini 10K and hopes she has returned to her best after suffering fatigue for pushing too fast her quest for the world marathon record in London on April 22, reports Xinhua news agency.

The Kenyan won the New York Mini 10km race on two occasions in 2015 and 2017.

“The New York Mini 10km is a very special race for me, not only because I have been able to win it twice, but because it is so special to see so many women of all ages and abilities running together,” Keitany said.

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“I hope that I am able to inspire them as much as they inspire me,” she added. Runners in New York will vie for a first-place prize of $10,000 in the open division.

But Keitany is only keen to gauge her body after suffering exhaustion in the London Marathon.

“I have gotten over my frustrations from London Marathon. I still feel I can run faster, but after the experience in my last race, it will be important to take each day at a time and focus on the task ahead that is to win the New York Mini 10km race,” she said on Tuesday from her training base, Iten.

Keitany, 36, will be joined on the start-line in Central Park by teammate Betsy Saina, another Kenyan who has also started the 2018 season with top performances.

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Saina, 29, a Kenyan Olympian, won the Paris Marathon in April, her first 42km victory since turning to the marathon. Saina had failed attempts running in New York and Tokyo and her victory in Paris lifted the pressure off her back.

“I feel young and happy after winning in Paris,” she said.

Just last week, Saina was third at the Great Manchester 10km run, in an event that was won by Ethiopia’s Tirunesh Dibaba with Kenya’s Joyciline Jepkosgei settling for silver.

Saina clocked an impressive 32 minutes 25 seconds though it was slower than her previous best of 30:57.30 at Stanford in 2014.

Top Americans in the race are Boston Marathon champion Des Linden and Molly Huddle. Top European entrants include European 10,000m Cup third finisher Charlotte Arter and Czech Republic’s Eva Vrabcova.

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Keitany is still focused on running a world marathon record. Her 2:17:01 run in London in 2017 is the fastest time ever run by a woman without male pacers, as Paula Radcliffe’s 2:15:25 world record — also run in London — had some male assistance.

The previous women’s-only world best was Radcliffe’s 2:17:42, which Keitany improved by 41 seconds.

–IANS

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