Kenya's Kamworor eyes defence of New York Marathon

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Nairobi : The prospect of running a personal best time is what drives Kenya's Geoffrey Kamworor as he puts his title on the line at the New York Marathon on November 4.

The defending champion has run sparingly this year, competing only at the World Half Marathon in Valencia in March which he won for a record third consecutive time. However, that will mean nothing as Kamworor faces his challengers in New York, reports Xinhua news agency.

"Racing once more in the New York City Marathon means so much to me," said the three-time world cross-country champion.

"It is my favourite race, and although thousands of miles separate my training base in Kaptagat, Kenya from New York, the event feels like home."

At last year's race, Kamworor claimed his first major marathon victory, holding off compatriot Wilson Kipsang down the final turns to win last year. The 2015 runner-up separated himself from the field with a 4:31 penultimate mile to finish in 2:10:53 hours.

Kamworor has won the past three IAAF World Half Marathon Championships and has run the marathon in less than two hours and seven minutes three times at the Berlin Marathon from 2012 to 2014, with his 2:06:12 performance from 2012 remaining his personal best.

"The goal is to try to run faster and see if I can challenge my personal best. But equally important is for me to win the race and plan for the 2019 World Championships," said Kamworor in Eldoret on Wednesday.