With Wilson Chebet, Getu Feleke and Bernard Koech on the start line for the TCS Amsterdam Marathon on 20 October, the IAAF Gold Label Road Race will feature one of its strongest ever line-ups.
Kenya’s Chebet has won the past two editions of the race and took three seconds off the course record last year, winning in 2:05:41. It will be the 28-year-old’s fourth consecutive appearance in Amsterdam. Before his back-to-back wins in 2011 and 2012, Chebet finished second on his debut over the distance in the Dutch capital.
‘Mr Amsterdam’, as he is now known, has a personal best of 2:05:27, set when winning in Rotterdam two years ago. He arrived in the Netherlands at the beginning of September and finished third at the ‘10 Engelse Mijl’ in Tilburg in 46:26.
Ethiopia’s Feleke held the course record before Chebet, but his 2:04:50 personal best, set in Rotterdam last year, makes him the fastest man in the field. Like Chebet, Feleke also made his Marathon debut in this city, finishing eighth in 2009. He won one year later with a course record of 2:05:44.
The two former winners can expect strong competition in the form of Koech. His personal best of 2:04:53 from Dubai earlier this year makes him the fastest Kenyan in 2013 and the fifth-fastest in the world.
The 22-year-old owns the fastest time in the world this year for the Half-marathon with his 58:41 victory in San Diego in June, although the course was slightly downhill. Regardless, such a speedy Half-marathon time promises great things for the Marathon.
These three runners all have the ability of setting set a course record. They could even challenge Lelisa Desisa’s world-leading mark of 2:04:45 from Dubai.
Organisers for the IAAF