Kenyan Sheila Chepkirui under no pressure ahead of marathon debut at Valencia

Commonwealth Games 10,000m silver medallist Sheila Chepkirui insists she is under no pressure ahead of making her full marathon debut at the 42nd edition of the Valencia Marathon this Sunday. 

Chepkirui said she is aware of the tough competition that awaits her but insists that she is not worried.

The women’s field has attracted some of the best athletes who will be targeting to break the course record which currently stands at 2:03:00.

“I am not afraid of the competition. I am making my debut and I don’t want to put pressure on myself. My main goal is to cross the finish line,” Chepkirui said. She will be in the company of compatriots Monicah Ngige and Fancy Chemutai.

The Kenyan trio is bound to face tough competition from Ethiopia’s Letesenbet Gidey, who is the world-record holder in 5000m, 10,000m and the half marathon.  

She is one of the women in the spotlight as she will also be making her debut over the distance after successfully ruling the track and half marathon.

Other Ethiopians in the race are— Sutume Kebede (2:18:12) and Etagegne Woldu (2:20:16). 

Chepkirui said her training is going on well and she is ready for the race.

She added that Chemutai, who is also her training mate, has played a key role in motivating her ahead of D-day. “We train together and she always encourages me,” Chepkirui said.

In the men’s field, the Ethiopian trio of Getaneh Molla (2:03:34), Tamirat Tola (2:03:39) and Dawit Wolde (2:04:27) head the field.

Kenya’s Jonathan Korir lines up as the fourth fastest with a lifetime best of 2:04:32 and will have the company of Geoffrey Kirui, Ronald Korir, Simon Kipkosgei and debutants Alexander Mutiso, Philemon Kiplimo and Kelvin Kiptum.

posted Tuesday November 29th
by Abigael Wuafula