Kenyan Jepchirchir returns to marathon

Nairobi,   Former world half marathon champion and record holder Peres Jepchirchir feels she has regained her strength and will be returning to the international scene after staying out of competition for 18 months.

The 25-year-old former champion of the Yangzhou Half Marathon in China last competed at the Ras Al Khaimah International Half Marathon in the United Arab Emirates, where she set a world record of 65:06 in February 2017, reports Xinhua news agency.

“I have now returned into competition and am focusing my attention and training on recapturing the world record. It can go down than the current mark,” said Jepchirchir, Tuesday from Eldoret.

Indeed the former world half marathon champion proved her fitness when she ran her second full 42km race at the Kass International Marathon in Eldoret and finished third clocking 2:46:15, improving on her previous mark by over a minute.

Jepchirchir finished behind Beatrice Ruto (2:45:07) and winner Cynthia Jerop (2:39:16). Her debut marathon was in 2013 in Kisumu where she posted a time of 2:47:33.

“Now I know I am strong and can make it in any race. I’m eyeing an international race where I want to also do well before I enter into big marathon races,” she said.

Jepchirchir also has aspirations of regaining her world half marathon record which now stands at 64:51.

Jepchirchir lost the world half marathon record to compatriot Joyciline Jepkosgei 64:52 at the 2017 Prague Half Marathon before she slashed one second off her own mark to 64:51 at the Valencia Half Marathon in October.