Bernard Koech breaks the tape to win in Lisbon (© Victah Sailor)
Bernard Koech crossed the finish-line in second place at last year’s NN Marathon Rotterdam. On 12 April he will be back at the IAAF Gold Label Road Race in the hope of improving on that performance.
In his debut at the distance, Koech clocked 2:04:53 to finish fifth in Dubai in 2013. A year later, he finished second to fellow Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge in Rotterdam in 2:06:08.
Koech is now set to return to the Dutch city, seeking his first win on what is widely regarded as a fast course.
The 27-year-old recently finished third at the Marugame Half Marathon in 1:00:09, but his PB of 58:41 makes him the third-fastest man in history at that distance.
In Rotterdam next month, Koech will be up against Kenyan compatriots Eliud Kiptanui, Mark Kipoo and Gilbet Yegon, as well as Ethiopia’s Megersa Bacha.
Kiptanui ran his best time in 2010 in Prague, where he won in 2:05:39 in what was his debut at the classic distance. One year later, he finished sixth at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu.
At 38, Kiptoo is still going strong. He won the Frankfurt Marathon last year, but set his PB of 2:06:16 when finishing second at the 2013 edition of the race.
Yegon won the 2009 Amsterdam Marathon in 2:06:18. He came within a minute of that time when finishing third behind Kiptoo in Frankfurt last year in 2:07:08.
Bacha is another consistent performer. The 30-year-old has contested four marathons to date, finishing no lower than fourth in all of them. He set his PB of 2:06:56 in Paris two years ago.
Organisers for the IAAF