NAIROBI, April 2 (Xinhua) -- Two-time world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat of Kenya is hopeful the weather will be favorable to enable her reclaim the Boston marathon title on April 15.
Kiplagat, 39, has defied the odds and keep on delivering at the higher level and will be running her first race in 2019 having finished fourth at the Berlin marathon in September.
The Kenyan has now completed the circuit running in the six world marathon majors in Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago, Tokyo and New York.
"For me it is one step a time," said Kiplagat on Tuesday. "I am focusing on doing strength training taking it at low pace as Boston marathon is close."
With no prospects of making the Kenya team to the World Marathon Championships in Doha, Qatar in October, Kiplagat will channel all her energies to reclaim the title she last won in 2017, but lost out to Desiree Linden of the U.S. owing to horrendous weather condition in last year's competition. She settled for silver in rainy and windy race.
"I'm focused and ready to beat the world. I did my last long run before Boston, guess what I was feeling urge for French fries. But I have done my training well and will have my family support me through the final days," she added.
Of the 22 women in the elite field, 11 have personal bests under 2:23. Leading the way is 2018 winner Linden of the United States.
Also in contention will be Kiplagat, who has won everything on the card including two World Championships marathon gold medals, three World Marathon Majors series and is the 2017 Boston champion.
The two will also face 2015 Boston, Prague and Las Vegas winner Caroline Rotich of Kenya, 2012 Boston, Hamburg, Toronto, Torino, and Singapore winner Sharon Cherop of Kenya and former Paris Champion Betsy Saina. Another Kenyan Mary Wacera will be making her debut.
"I am excited but nervous but Boston is not new to me. I have run several BAA 10Ks," said Wacera, who is the 2016 world half marathon bronze medalist. She should however be worried of her mentor Kiplagat, who keeps on going when everyone hopes she will make her final stop in marathon.
Kiplagat, 39, began with victory in the 2010 New York City marathon and followed that with second place at the London marathon in April 2011.
She then clinched world gold in Daegu (South Korea) in 2011 and another second in London in 2012, where she set her personal best time of 2:19:50.
She was second again in the UK capital in 2013 and then added a second straight world title with gold in Moscow that same year. Kiplagat finally cracked the top step of London's podium in 2014 with victory.
Two more podiums (third in Tokyo and second at the Chicago Marathon) in 2016 continued a stunning string of World Marathon Majors performances, topped by a win in Boston in 2017. Last year she was fourth at Berlin marathon.
Later that year her form carried her to second in the London World Championships, and she now has her sights on the podium in Boston on April 15.