Brighton Marathon organisers have revealed the strongest field ever for the sixth edition of the event. The male and female fields are peppered with African and European talent for the big day on Sunday 12 April.
The men's race will see Mutai Kipkemei of Kenya leading the contenders. Though a recent convert to the marathon, he established himself as a sub-2.10 campaigner as recently as last autumn when he finished third in Hengshui in 2:09:29. The top four are separated by just 12 seconds with fellow Kenyan Josephat Kiprono Leting, 27, from the athletic hotspot of Iten just five seconds slower than Kipkemei. Leting burst onto the scene on his debut in Enschede two years ago when he finished runner up in 2:09:34.
2013 Brighton champion Dominic Kangor Kimwetich of Kenya, 25, returns for another crack at the title; and there is also a strong challenge from Ethiopia through former Florence Marathon winner Birhanu Bekele Berga and Venice Marathon winner Ketema Behailu Mamo.
In the women's event, Eunice Cheyech Kales, 30, is also making a bid to regain her title. After her triumph in 2013, she travelled to Melbourne in the autumn to establish a career best of 2:27:19 but was frustrated last year by injury.
From Bahrain comes Lishan Dula Gemgchu, 28, fastest amongst the elite women, her lifetime best 2:26:56 coming when she finished third in Rotterdam four years ago. Precocious 19-year-old Askale Alemayehu is relatively untested but 2:31:31 from Rennes last year heralds a bright future.
Ireland’s Nicola Duncan, 33, clocked 2:33:28 in London last year to be first club runner home, finishing 11th woman overall and is another contender. The leading British athlete in the line-up is Hayley Munn, 24, coached by Nick Anderson and aiming for a 2:34 clocking, an improvement of some three minutes over her current best.
The Brighton Marathon is an IAAF Bronze Label event.