27 FEB 2014 General News Brighton, Great Britain

Defending champion to face tough opposition in Brighton

Kenya's William Chebor wins the men's race (Organisers)Kenya's William Chebor wins the men's race (Organisers) © Copyright

A quality line-up has been assembled for 6 April as the Brighton Marathon, an IAAF Bronze Label Road Race, welcomes its most outstanding men’s elite field to date.

The two fastest runners in the field, William Chebor and Raymond Kandie of Kenya, have personal bests faster than 2:10, while all three medallists from last year’s race – including course record-holder Dominic Kangor – have opted to return.

Chebor, 31, who clocked 2:08:21 in Turin three years ago, comes to Brighton having won his most recent marathon in Jakarta last October.

In addition to a host of strong Kenyans, a number of fast runners from six other countries will be trying to topple the big names and for the first time performers from Italy, Eritrea and South Africa join the fray.

Last year, Kangor set the course record of 2:10:46 after a close tussle with Bernard Rotich. That time could well be in danger with the course changes that have taken place, making the route faster than ever.

Since the first Brighton Marathon in 2010, both the men’s and women’s course records have been broken every year. The top six men have all run faster than the current benchmark, so hopes are high that the record-setting trend can continue in 2014.

Among the debutants, Kenya’s Robert Langat could be one to watch. Although he has no previous experience over the full classic distance, his half-marathon PB of 1:01:05 is just a few seconds slower than Chebor’s.

Britain’s Chris Powner is making his debut over the distance. He has a best half marathon of 64:45 from Bath two years ago and will be chasing the qualifying time of 2:19 for Scotland’s marathon team for this year’s Commonwealth Games.

On the women’s side, Kenya’s Hellen Mugo has a best time of 2:27:16 which is more than a minute-and-a half faster than the current course record of 2:28:50. A former winner of three international marathons, Brighton will be Mugo’s first race on British soil.

Tanith Maxwell, who represented South Africa at the 2013 IAAF World Championships and 2012 Olympic Games, is hoping to earn Commonwealth Games selection by getting close to her best of 2:32:33.

The fastest Briton is Rebecca Robinson with a lifetime best 2:37:14 from the 2010 London Marathon.

Organisers for the IAAF

Elite field (with PBs)

Men
William Chebor (KEN) 2:08:21
Raymond Kandie (KEN) 2:09:23
Robert Mwangi (KEN) 2:10:04
Bernard Rotich (KEN) 2:10:18
Philemon Kisang (KEN) 2:10:27
Belete Mekonen (ETH) 2:10:34
Dominic Kangor (KEN) 2:10:46
Teferi Regasa (ETH) 2:10:54
Wilfred Murgor (KEN) 2:11:41
Isaias Habtemicael (ERI) 2:11:53
Giovanni Ruggiero (ITA) 2:13:23
Giovanni Gualdi (ITA) 2:13:39
Pat Rizzo (USA) 2:13:42
Atalay Yirsaw (ETH) debut
Robert Langat (KEN) debut
Andrew Lesuuda (KEN) debut
Chris Powner (GBR) debut
Ian Kimpton (GBR) debut

Women
Hellen Mugo (KEN) 2:27:16
Tanith Maxwell (RSA) 2:32:33
Selam Abere (ETH) 2:36:08
Alice Serser (KEN) 2:37:06
Purity Kimetto (KEN) 2:37:20
Rebecca Robinson (GBR) 2:37:14
Jenny Blizzard (GBR) 2:45:10