Fastest field for Brighton

Brighton Marathon weekend

Two cracking races are in prospect for the sixth Brighton Marathon which takes place on Sunday 12 April. Organisers have put together the fastest fields ever on paper for an all-out assault on the record books with four men under 2:10 and two women faster than 2:28.

On the men’s side Mutai Kipkemei KEN,28, leads the contenders. Though a recent convert to the Marathon he established himself as a sub-2.10 campaigner as recently as last autumn when he finished third in Hengshui in 2:09:29.

The top four are separated by just 12 seconds with fellow Kenyan Josephat Kiprono Leting, 27, from the athletic hotspot of Iten just five seconds slower than Kipkemei. Leting burst onto the scene on his debut in Enschede two years ago  when he finished runner up (2:09:34PB) in one of the oldest races on the calendar.  Last September he went one better by winning the Münster event.

Former Brighton champion Dominic Kangor Kimwetich KEN, 25, will be looking to retain his title after just missing out last year to come second. An exciting tussle in the last few miles saw him rewarded with a personal best by over a minute of 2:09:36.

There are two representatives from Ethiopia, the veteran Birhanu Bekele Berga 33, former winner of the Florence marathon who has a career best of 2:09:41 and youngster Ketema Behailu Mamo, 21, who claimed his first title in Venice last autumn when he ran away from the pack over the second half of the race.

Unknown Kenyan Duncan Kipkurui Maiyo 24, will be racing for the first time outside Kenya when he takes to the Brighton and Hove streets. If the company he keeps is anything to go by he could spell trouble since he trains with an elite trio of 2:06 performers Micah Kogo, Mark Kiptoo and Mike Kigen.

Champion in the same year as her countryman Kangor, Eunice Cheyech Kales, 30, is also making a bid to regain her title. After winning here in the spring of 2013 she travelled to Melbourne in the autumn to establish a career best of 2:27:19 but was frustrated last year by injury. 

From Bahrain comes Lishan Dula Gemgchu, 28, fastest amongst the elite women, her lifetime best 2:26:56 coming when she finished third in Rotterdam four years ago.

Precocious teenager Askale Alemayehu ETH, 19, is relatively untested but 2:31:31 from Rennes last year heralds a bright future. Ireland’sNicola Duncan, 33, clocked 2:33:28 in London last year to be first club runner home, finishing 11th woman overall. Nicola set six PBs last year including a 72:12 half marathon in Barcelona.

The leading British athlete in the line-up is Hayley Munn (handicap 0.9), 24, aiming for a 2:34 clocking, an improvement of some three minutes over her current best.

The Brighton Marathon is an IAAF Bronze Label event.

MEN (CR 2:09:25 William Chebor KEN)

Mutai Kipkemei KEN 2:09:29

Josephat Leting KEN 2:09:34

Dominic Kangor KEN 2:09:36

Birhanu Bekele ETH 2:09:41

Duncan Maiyo KEN 2:11:47

Ketema Behailu ETH 2:13:23

Silas Ngetich KEN – debut

WOMEN (CR 2:28:50 Eunice Kales KEN)

Lishan Dula BRN 2:26:56

Eunice Kales KEN 2:27:19

Askale Alemayehu ETH 2:31:31

Nicola Duncan (handicap 1.3) IRL 2:33:28

Hayley Munn (handicap 0.9) GBR 2:37:44