David Toniok of Kenya will go into this year’s Edinburgh Marathon aiming to break the course record of 2:15:26 set by fellow Kenyan Zachary Kihara in 2005. He will be joined by a strong elite field in the feature race at the 12th Edinburgh Marathon Festival on 24 and 25 May. Participants includes members of Team Scotland who are involved in various races as part of their pre Commonwealth Games build up.
Abi Beautyman, Edinburgh Marathon Festival elite coordinator, predicts another 'super fast series of road races on the ultra fast Edinburgh routes'. 30-year-old David is favourite to win the marathon with the fastest PB among the confirmed elite runners - 2:10:39. Another Kenyan, Linus Maiyo, 31, took bronze last year in the Barcelona Marathon in a personal best of 2:11:34 and should featue prominently in the lead pack alongside Ebisa Merga from Ethiopia, the winner at Bournemouth Marathon 2013 (2:16:41), as well as Sufa Chala from Ethiopia who recorded an impressive finish time of 2:12:44 at the Dubai Marathon earlier this year.
In the women’s contest, Risper Kimaiyo, from Kenya is back to defend her 2013 title against reigning Casablanca marathon champion Gulilat Serkalem from Ethiopia whose personal best of 2:31:50 is about a minute and a half under the current female course record of 2:33:36 set by Zinaida Semenova of Russia in 2005. Other podium candidates include Fabiola Perez Igari from Mexico (PB 2:43:46); Ukrainian Kateryna Stetsenko who ran 2:27:51 at Dublin 2010 and French athlete Adeline Roche with a personal best of 2:38:31.
Scottish star Hayley Haining, second at the Great Women’s 10K on Sunday, runs in the half marathon as part of her preparation for the marathon at the Commonwealth Games. Fellow Scot, Derek Hawkins, also selected for the Glasgow 2014 Marathon, starts in the EMF 10K race.
For more information on the event, visit the EMF website.