The field also includes Priscah Jeptoo and Gemma Steel.
It sure didn't hurt the Kenyan men.
MB: Priscah Jeptoo: Kenyans lost in London because the pace was too slow, "we don’t even train at the pace we were running"
Half WR holder Florence Kiplagat says her focus is on winning rather than time.
"I am still on the path to reclaim my past glory. Since coming from maternity leave, it is always a challenge to be at the top of the game. But winning in [at RAK] will be a priority, though I hear my colleague Priscah (Jeptoo) is angling for the world record. My focus is to do well in marathon."
After a 7 month break, she was dominant at the 15km Zeven Heuvelen Loop race in the Netherlands.
Registration was down to 17,000 from 23,000 last year and well short of the 25,000 goal and the lead cars for the 10K took the men in the wrong direction. On another note, 2013 London and NYC marathon champ Priscah Jeptoo finished 2nd in the women's 10K behind Faith Chemutai (35:52).
Also world 10,000 3rd placer Belaynesh Oljira and what we think is Stephanie Rothstein-Bruce's first race back since pregnancy. Men's side has Kenyan's Joel Kimutai and 26:51 10K man Emmanuel Bett,Commonwealth Games marathon champ Michael Shelley, Zane Robertson, GB’s Andy Vernon, Euro marathon champ Daniele Meucci and Ben Bruce.
Dibaba will face Italy’s World marathon silver medalist Valeria Straneo, France’s Sophie Duarte and GB's Gemma Steel. Priscah Jeptoo has pulled out with a stress fracture. Wilson Kipsang and Kenenisa Bekele will go head-to-head in the men's race.
She even talked about the WR and said, "This year we have to think about it and we have to try. It is something that is in my heart, that this year I will try to run a good time and if possible, I will try to chase the world record.”
Chicago Marathon winner Rita Jeptoo was 3rd for the women; Olympic 10,000 5th placer Bedan Karoki was 2nd in the men's race.
The women are led by London/NYC Marathon champ Priscah Jeptoo who faces Berlin Marathon winner Florence Kiplagat and World 5,000 silver medallist Mercy Cherono.
The time (28:31) may not seem fast but it was 90 degrees with 50+% humidity. In the women's race, 2013 NY Marahton champ Priscah Jeptoo returned to racing with a win in 32:10.
Jeptoo: “I have done enough in big city marathons and I now long to win an Olympic gold. If AK names me for the Commonwealth Games, I will honour the call."
A lot of great info on the two training partners including their race strategy, training and fact that after only one day off Deba started running 7-8 miles a day taking the first steps towards her spring goal to win the Boston Marathon.
Stephen Kiprotich and Priscah Jeptoo finished as runners up for the award.
Anyone ever heard of Priscah Jeptoo?
“I’ve never won a race as tough as this,” said the 32-year-old Kenyan, whose time of 2:08:24 is his slowest marathon since 2009. With no one showing any interest in surging with him into a headwind that flirted with 20 miles per hour, Mutai waited until the course did a U-turn at about the 20-mile mark to make his move.
“For me, I can say it was a tough race of all the marathons that I’ve run because those two ladies took off fast,” she said.