NICE, France – Kenya’s Alfred Kering will be the fastest runner in the field when he takes part in the marathon des Alpes Maritimes, an IAAF Bronze Label Road Race, in France on Sunday.
He has the fastest PB of the field at 2:07:10 set in Paris in 2010 while rival Yuki Kawauchi is the field’s second fastest with 2:08:14 from 2013.
Kering, who has three victories over the distance to his credit, finished seventh in Rabat in 2:11:01 in March in what has been his only race this season.
Throughout his career he’s recorded eight sub-2:10 marathons; Kawauchi has 12.
Kawauchi, who placed ninth at the IAAF World Championships in London in August, will be contesting his ninth marathon this year and will be aiming to capture a third win, following his successes in Matsuyama in February in a SB of 2:09:54 (on a record-eligible course) and then in Betsukai early October.
Ethiopia’s Dejene Kelkilew has also taken the top prize in a marathon when he succeeded in Reims two years ago in a personal best of 2:11:21. He’s contested one marathon in 2017, finishing sixth in Wuxi in 2:15:14.
Kering’s compatriot Emmanuel Sikuku may also have a say. The 23-year-old set his personal best last year in Rennes, finishing fifth in 2:11:05.
He clocked a much more modest 2:21:57 in Geneva back in May in what has been his only outing this season.
Azmeraw Mengistu knows the course well, as he was third last year in a personal best of 2:12:27. His current form is uncertain as he hasn’t pinned on a bib since then.
Others in the field include Alex Bartilol of Kenya who improved his PB to 2:12:37 in May in Copenhagen, where he took the runner-up spot.
Fourth in Stockholm last June with a PB of 2:13:13, Kenya’s Daniel Yator should be in contention for the podium.
Kenya’s Cornelius Kangogo, who prevailed twice at the Houilles 10km and at this year’s 10km in Dongio in 28:14, will be in charge of the pace. He also has a 1:01:05 half marathon personal best.
Kenya’s Lukas Kanda holds the course record of 2:08:40, set six years ago.