Evans Chebet will be facing the fastest man in the world over the distance when he steps on the road on Monday to defend his Boston Marathon title.
Chebet cannot wait to clash with marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge whom he will be racing against for the first time in his career.
The Kapsabet-based Chebet says he is highly motived to compete against Kipchoge considered the Greatest of All Time (G.O.A.T) in marathon racing.
“I have never competed against the fastest man over the distance. We are finally meeting in Boston and I believe the race will be faster and that will help me improve on my personal best. My target is to be on the podium. Expect an exciting race on Monday,” said Chebet who trains under 2Running Athletics Club in Kapsabet, Nandi County.
Chebet, will also be competing against his compatriot and training mate Benson Kipruto.
The reigning Boston Marathon champion said that his preparations for the race have gone on well, he is injury free and wants to show what he has got on the road on Monday.
“I love the Boston Marathon course and given that we shall be competing with other Kenyans, it will be a tough affair but a race normally starts after 35km and that is where you can know if you will finish as a winner,” said Chebet.
In last year’s race, Chebet pulled away from a loaded field in the last few kilometres to surge to victory in 2:06:51. Compatriot Lawrence Cherono finished second in 2:07:21 while Benson Kipruto was third in 2:07:27.
Kipruto, Chebet’s training partner, won the 2021 Boston Marathon champion.
He will be coming up against Kipchoge for the second time on Monday after the 2021 London Marathon where he emerged seventh while Kipchoge settled for eighth position.
“In 2021, I competed against Kipchoge though we both finished outside the podium. I believe that we’ll have a good race this year. I will be eyeing a podium position despite the stiff competition. It’s a rich field but I will do my best and apply what I have been working on in training,” said Kipruto, the 2022 Chicago Marathon champion.
Other Kenyan athletes who will be competing in the race include John Korir who was third in last year’s Chicago Marathon, Nobert Kigen, Mark Korir, who was second in 2022 Berlin Marathon, Michael Githae, and the 2021 New York Marathon champion Albert Korir.