Kenya’s Dominic Ruto Kipngetich is targeting a podium finish in this year’s Blom Bank Beirut Marathon set to be held this Sunya.
But victory in this IAAF Silver Label Road Race would be even sweeter.
Although the 27-year-old is among the fastest in the elite field, he is proceeding with caution knowing that in the marathon anything is possible.
Earlier this year, he recorded a new personal best time of 2:09:08 at the Rome International Marathon knocking 20 seconds off his previous best, also recorded in the Italian capital a year earlier.
Ruto will be in a position to offer the defending champion Edwin Kiptoo a serious challenge on the streets of the Lebanese capital.
“My training for the Beirut marathon has been quite good so far,” Ruto says. “At the beginning of the season I was scheduled to run a marathon in China but got a tendon injury in September which forced me to reschedule my plans,” he added.
Recent workouts have gone well giving me a feeling that I can try to be competitive. I ran an average of 180 kilometres per week.
“I am not much aware how competitive Beirut marathon will be this year, I only hope that my body will respond well on that day. I am not really after any final time but I hope to be competitive enough to finish on the podium,” Ruto said.
Since turning professional Ruto has trained in a group alongside such marathon stalwarts as Amos Kipruto who has a 2:05:43 personal best; Dickson Chumba a former winner of both the Tokyo and Chicago Marathons and who boasts a personal best of 2:04:32; and Evans Chebet, who’s clocked 2:05:31, among others.
Their sessions are planned and overseen by famed Italian coach Claudio Berardelli. All are managed by agent Gianni DeMadonna.
As the Blom Bank Beirut Marathon grows in popularity it attracts an even stronger elite field. Ruto could well be the name on everyone’s lips come November 12th.