Dubai: After failing to live up to his pre-race favourite tag 12 months ago, Kenyan running legend Martin Lel returns to next week’s Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon armed with a determination to add the world’s richest marathon to an already impressive CV.
The 34 year-old has been training in the Kenyan hills of Elodoret with a target of peaking for the award-winning event, which will get underway from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard in Downtown Dubai on Jan.25.
Last year, Lel failed to make his mark in what was a record-breaking race won by Ethiopian debutant Ayele Abshero in a time of 2:04:23 —a Dubai course record, the sixth fastest Marathon time in history at the time.
But Lel is back for another tilt at the title in 2013 with a desire to run at the highest level that appears to be as strong as ever, overcoming injury to bid for an Olympic marathon place last year. Although 2012 did not begin well for Lel in Dubai, the magic returned as the leggy Kenyan finished second in the London Marathon in a time of 2:06:51 in April.