A strong Kenyan-Ethiopian battle presents itself at the eighth edition of the Santiago de Chile Marathon, an IAAF Bronze Label Road Race that will take place in the Chilean capital on Sunday 6 April.
Twenty-five-year-old Kenyan Julius Keter, the winner of the 2011 and 2013 editions of the Santiago Marathon, leads the field of runners. Last year Keter set the course record with his 2:11:43 time. He holds a personal best of 2:10:31 from his second-place finish at the 2013 Los Angeles Marathon.
Keter’s compatriots Stephen Kibiwot and Julius Nderitu Karinga, along with Ethiopian Dereje Tesfaye and France’s Patrick Tambwe, are also candidates for victory in the streets of Santiago.
The 30-year-old Kibiwot holds a personal best of 2:07:54 from 2009. He also has a half-marathon PB of 59:37 from the same year and placed fourth at the 2008 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships.
Nderitu, 38, is another experienced runner who brings a two-year-old personal best of 2:08:01 to Chile.
Ethiopian Tesfaye is a 28-year-old with a marathon best of 2:08:36, while Tambwe – formerly from the Democratic Republic of Congo – is the fastest of the participants with his 2:07:30 clocking from 2012.
The strongest South American entries are Peruvian Abel Villanueva (2:17:03) and Brazilian Marcos Alexandre Elias (2:17:35).
The women’s race will also stage an intense African duel, mostly Kenyan-Ethiopian. Emily Perpetua Chepkorir, from Kenya, is the fastest entrant with a personal best of 2:32:31, obtained at the altitude of Nairobi in 2011.
Chepkorir’s main adversaries will be Lucy Mugambi Karimi, also from Kenya, and Ethiopia’s Alene Shewarge. The 39-year-old Karimi has already been successful in South American races, as she set her 2:33:36 personal best in Buenos Aires in 2013. The 27-year-old Shewarge comes to Chile after setting a personal best of 2:35:31 at the Torreon Marathon last month.
Kenya’s Jacqueline Nyetipei Kiplimo set the course record in 2013 with 2:30:52 – a realistic target for the fastest entrants.
Natalia Romero and Erika Olivera, from Chile, along with Paraguay’s Carmen Martinez, are the strongest South American runners. Romero set a personal best of 2:34:55 in her 2012 victory in Santiago. The 38-year-old Olivera is the 1999 Pan-American Games champion and holds the national record with 2:32:23, set that same year. Martinez is the Paraguayan record-holder with 2:37:07.
A total of 25,500 runners are expected to take part in the 10km, half marathon and marathon races.
Eduardo Biscayart for the IAAF