‘It’s anybody’s race’ Biwot
Past champion Shadrack Biwot reckons tonight’s KPMG Invitational Elite Men’s Mile will be a toss-up.
The middle distance runner who hails from Kenya is among a formidable field that includes sub four-minute milers Julius Bor (Kenya), Stephen Pifer (USA) and Jordan Chipangama (Zambia).
“I’m ready and feel pretty good,” an optimistic Biwot told
The Royal Gazette. “The field is a little deep this year which is a good thing because it’s always good to have competition.”
Biwot won the Front Street Mile at the first attempt in 2010 en route to an unprecedented Bermuda Marathon Weekend treble that also included the 10K and Half-Marathon titles.
His personal best in the mile stands at four minutes flat which is 11 seconds faster than his winning time in the mile here three years ago.
Bor has run the mile in a 3:58.72, American Pifer in 3:56.12 and Chipangama in 3:59.
Biwot, who finished fourth at last weekend’s Chevron Houston Half-Marathon in the US, isn’t intimidated by his rivals’ superior times.
“I’ve never ran a sub-four minute mile before,” he said. “But it’s anybody’s day so you just have to go out there and fight it out.”
Biwot is returning to Bermuda Marathon Weekend after missing last year’s event due to the death of his father.
“I was ready to come but unfortunately my dad passed away,” he said. “I was sad I couldn’t make it, but I had to take care of some business back in Kenya.”
The Kenyan is competing in the Elite Men’s Mile and 10K and hasn’t ruled doing the half-marathon too.
“After the mile and 10K I will decide and see what happens on Sunday,” said Biwot, one of three Kenyans in this year’s mile.
Making their race debuts are Bor and younger brother Emmanuel.
University of Alabama graduate Emmanuel, who has run a mile in 4:01, expects to find his work cut out in a formidable field.
“This is my first time so it’s going to be tough,” he said. “I think it’s a really good field so it should be a challenging race.”
Past All-American Chipangama will enter the race with high expectations.
“Winning is my expectation and also breaking the record (4:02),” the University of Arizona graduate declared.
A new champion will be crowned in both the Elite Men’s and Women’s Mile as last year’s winners Tesfaye Dube (Ethiopia) and Korene Hinds (Jamaica) are not back to defend their titles.
“Korene is pregnant so she’s not back to defend her title while on the men’s side defending champion Tesfaye Dube is in Ethiopia training for some other events,” said Bermuda Marathon Weekend Race Director Anthony Raynor.
A late addition to the Elite Women’s Mile is Phoebe Wright who has run the 800 metres in 1:58.
Raynor expects Wright to be in contention for top honours.
“I would put Phoebe up there with the contenders because she has some fire under her wings,” he said. “She likes to go out so I’m sure she will take the pace out honest.”
Representing Bermuda in the Men’s Mile are Lamont Marshall, Shaquille Dill and Chayce Smith who finished third last year.
Tamika Williams is the sole local runner in the Women’s Mile.