Kenya's veteran Kiprop eyes New York marathon

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Kenya's Nancy Kiprop, a three-time winner of Vienna City marathon, said Wednesday she is ready to earn big city status in distance running by securing victory at the New York marathon on November 3.

The 40-year-old is a late bloomer and wants to secure marathon's top priced title before her final bow and transition to the master's category.

"I am looking forward to my first big city marathon debut in New York City. This will culminate to reward my years of hard work, learning and growth," Kiprop said.

Inspired by her latest win in Vienna, Kiprop will take on countrywoman and defending champion Mary Keitany, world half marathon record holder Joyceline Jepkosgei and America's Olympian Des Linden.

The former Valencia marathon silver medalist remains optimistic of pulling a surprise in New York despite her time being the fourth fastest among the elite.

Defending champion Mary Keitany leads with 2:17.01 followed by Worknesh Degefa (2:17.41) of Ethiopia and Ruti Aga also from Ethiopia in 2:18.34.

"Time and past records count for less on the race day. I always believe in myself. Only three athletes are above me and there is a big gap between 2:18 and 2:22 but that won't worry me much. I have finally matured for the big races unlike in the past. ran 2:22.12.I am ready to battle for the title," said Kiprop.

Last year, Keitany, who is the world record holder, became the second woman after Grete Waitz of Norway to win in New York four times, recording the second-fastest time in the event history in 2:22:48 for her fourth win in five years.

"I'm very excited to return on November 3 to race for my fifth New York City Marathon title on my favorite course in the world," Keitany said. 

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