Cheruiyot, Sambu lead Kenyan charge at New York Half-Marathon

Olympic 5,000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot and defending men’s champion Stephen Sambu will lead Kenya’s  charge at this year’s New York Half Marathon set for March 18.

Cheruiyot has a Personal Best of 67:44, making her the third fastest in the women’s field that has nine athletes who have run under 70:00 with Ethiopians Mamitu Daska (66:28) and Buze Diriba (66:50) top of the pile.

Cheruiyot, 34, said on her Twitter page that she is delighted to participate in the event that will mark her third marathon since transitioning from track to road running.

“Excited to run the New York Road Runners (NYRR) United Airlines NYC Half Marathon on March 18,” the Frankfurt Marathon champion tweeted.

Cheruiyot who is using the event as a build-up to the London Marathon will face competition from compatriots Caroline Rotich who won the Boston Marathon in 2015 and reigning Kagawa Marugame Half Marathon champion Betsy Saina.

Sambu, 29, won the 2016 United Airlines NYC Half after a third-place finish in 2014 and a photo-finish second place in 2015. In 2016, the Kenyan made his marathon debut at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, where he placed fifth in 2:13:35.

He followed that with another fifth-place run last October, albeit with a time that was nearly two-and-a-half minutes faster.

His quest to hold on to the men’s title will be challenged by his countryman Wilson Chebet who leads a packed men’s field as the only man to have run under one hour (59:15).

The two Kenyans will have to contend with competition three-time defending champion and event record-holder Ernst van Dyk as well as 2009 Birmingham Half Marathon bronze medallist Dathan Ritzenhein.

Van Dyk, 44, is the three-time defending United Airlines NYC Half champion in the men’s wheelchair division, having lowered his own event record from 47:37 to 47:28 in last year’s race.

He is also a two-time New York City Marathon champion, having won in 2005 and 2015, and a 10-time Boston Marathon champion.

ELITE FIELD

MEN

Wilson Chebet, KEN (59:15)

Dathan Ritzenhein, USA (1:00:00)

Teshome Mekonen, ETH (1:00:27)

Abdi Abdirahman, USA (1:00:29)

Shadrack Biwott, USA (1:01:25)

Noah Droddy, USA (1:01:48)

Soifiane Bouchikhi, BEL (1:03:45)

Shogo Ise, JPN (1:03:10)

Kei Katanishi, JPN (1:01:58)

Chris Thompson, GBR (1:01:00)

Ben True, USA (Debut)

Chris Derrick, USA (1:01:12)

Scott Fauble, USA (1:03:06)

Matt Llano, USA (1:01:47)

Haron Lagat, USA (1:01:00)

Tim Ritchie, USA (1:01:23)

 

WOMEN

Mamitu Daska, ETH (1:06:28)

Buze Diriba, ETH (1:06:50)

Vivian Cheruiyot, KEN (1:07:44)

Emily Sisson, USA (1:08:21)

Caroline Rotich, KEN (1:08:52)

Aliphine Tuliamuk, USA (1:09:16)

Betsy Saina, KEN (1:09:17)

Karoline Grøvdal, NOR (1:09:41)

Madai Perez, MEX (1:09:45)

Serena Burla, USA (1:10:08)

Desiree Linden, USA (1:10:34)

Allie Kieffer, USA (1:10:40)

Liz Costello, USA (1:12:35)

Roberta Groner, USA (1:14:26)

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