NAIROBI, March 22 (Xinhua) -- World marathon champion Geoffrey Kirui and Eliud Kipchoge, the Olympic winner, will be running in two different continents in April, but their performance will determine who leads the World Marathon Majors.
Kirui will be running his fifth career marathon in Boston having run in Rotterdam, Amsterdam, London and Boston.
He also competed at the 2016 Chicago marathon, but served as a pace setter for Kipchoge. Now he is angling to claim the ultimate prize in road racing, win the 500,000 U.S. dollars WMM jackpot.
On the other hand, Kipchoge return to London eyeing his eighth marathon win and a chance to top the WMM leaderboard.
But it is a challenge that Kirui is relishing as he seeks a second title in Boston. Both Kirui and Kipchoge together with other four athletes -- Dickson Chumba, Daniel Wanjiru, Galen Rupp and Geoffrey Kamworor - are tied on 25 points after registering one win each.
"It is always very tough winning a Marathon title for two straight years, but I am very determined and hungry to make this happen. I know I will be a man under scrutiny from my rivals, but winning a second Boston Marathon title attracts me," Kirui said said Thursday in Keringet, Nakuru.
Kirui, who ran a strategic race in his debut in Boston, hopes this year's performance will open up more opportunities for him like was the case in 2017.
Indeed four months after his win Boston, he was called to the Kenya team to the World Championships, a call he honored and was rewarded with a world title in London last August.
"The 2017 was a wonderful year for me with winning both Boston and the World Championships," said Kirui. "I'm happy to return to Boston to defend my title. The tremendous atmosphere, the great history and legendary course all suit me very well."
Like Kirui, the women's field in Boston will be led by Kenya's Edna Kiplagat.
Last year, after her Boston victory, Kiplagat made her fourth World Championships appearance and secured the silver medal. She rounded out her season with a fourth-place finish at the New York City Marathon.
"After racing all around the world, it was so special for me to run on Boston's historic course and experience the Boston traditions with my family," said Kiplagat.
"I look forward to the challenge in April racing against the world's best athletes."