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Former double-gold track winner takes her fight to New York

Reigning Virgin Money London Marathon champion, Vivian Cheruiyot, will battle for her second major marathon title when she takes to the streets of New York for the 2018 edition of the TSC New York City Marathon slated for November 4.

Cheruiyot made the announcement on her twitter account yesterday morning, hours after the official entry list was made public. “Excited to announce that I will be competing in the 2018 TCS NYC Marathon on November 4,” her tweet read.

The 2016 Rio Olympic Games 5,000m champion claimed her maiden major marathon in April when she won the London Marathon in 2 hours, 18 minutes and 31 seconds, a personal best and the fourth fastest time in history, ahead of compatriot Brigid Kosgei and third-placed Ethiopian Tadelech Bekele.

Cheruiyot attributed her surprise win in London, in a race that fellow Kenyan Mary Keitany had been tipped to break the world record time of 2:15:25, to running at her own pace and not chasing after the leading pack. She however missed on a Sh10 million bonus after failing to sub 2:18:00.

At the time, Cheruiyot said she intends to break the world record in the ‘right time’, declining to single out a specific course or year when she would be attempting the record. Prior to the New York meet, she will return to defend Great North Run 21km title on September 9.

The IAAF recognises two world records for women, a ‘mixed gender’ record of 2:15:25 set by Paula Radcliffe on April 2003 at the London Marathon and a ‘women’s only’ record of 2:17:01 set by Keitany on April 2017 on the same course.

‘Pocket Rocket’, as she is fondly known will face stiff competition from the field that has 10 Olympians and three Abbott World Marathon Majors race champions. Among them is the only other Kenyan on the elite list, women’s only marathon record-holder Keitany who will be looking to reclaim the title, having finished second last year after clinching three consecutive wins.

The 2012 and 2016 World Marathon Majors champion, Keitany and Cheruiyot will be joined on the course by defending champion Shalane Flanagan of USA, reigning IAAF World Half Marathon champion Ethiopian Netsanet Gudeta and her counterpart Mamitu Daska, last year’s race bronze medallist.

“I was disappointed not to defend my title last year, but I was not 100 per cent healthy and Shalane ran a strong race. I am happy for her historic win. When I went back to New York to win the NYRR New York Mini 10k in June, I showed that I am still in top shape. I will train harder than ever to win my fourth title in November, ” Keitany said.

Others in the 37 elite list include Molly Huddle who was third in New York in 2016, 2018 Boston Marathon 2018 Boston Marathon champion Desiree Linden and runner-up Sarah Sellers, 2016 New York runner-up Sally Kipyego and 2017 fifth-place finisher Allie Kieffer among others.

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