Kenya’s Kipsang focused on marathon gold in Beijing

Former Kenyan world marathon record holder and Olympic bronze medallist Wilson Kipsang is not planning to run another competitive race, but is focused on reclaiming the world title for Kenya in Beijing next month.

The 33-year-old two-time London marathon winner says he has not been in the best of shape possible in his five recent races.

He was beaten into second place by compatriot Eliud Kipchoge at the London marathon in April, and finished fourth and fifth respectively in two half-marathon races in New York and the Czech Republic last month.

“It has been a very busy year for me so far,” said Kipsang, who is one of the star athletes to participate in an ongoing 836 kilometre (520 mile) “walk for peace” relay, organised by former Commonwealth champion John Kelai. The 22-day march, aimed to raise awareness to help end ethnic violence in northern Kenya, started in the semi-arid Rift Valley town of Lodwar on Wednesday.

“Since my last race in Olomouc, I have been back in Kenya recovering from all these races and starting my preparation for the upcoming world championships in Beijing.

“The conditions in Beijing are going to be very tough because of the heat and the humidity. That’s why I have started training in similar conditions to get used to this type of climate.

“One of the few things lacking in my career is a medal at the world championships. This is why my focus is now completely on becoming a world marathon champion. I dream of reclaiming the title for Kenya in Beijing.”

Kipsang is included in a six-man provisional team, which includes the current world record holder, Dennis Kimetto, and Mark Korir, the 2015 Paris marathon winner.

Only three athletes will make the final team for the August 22-30 championships, with the national selection scheduled to be held on August 1 after the Kenyan trials at the Nairobi’s Kasarani stadium.

Photo Credits : AFP

The fastest of all-time go head-to-head at the London Marathon

Defending champion Wilson Kipsang and world record holder Dennis Kimetto will go head-to-head in the 2015 London Marathon on 26 April.

Kenya’s Kipsang is seeking a third title after winning in 2012 and 2014. Compatriot Kimetto clocked two hours, two minutes 57 seconds in September’s Berlin Marathon to shave 26 seconds off Kipsang’s 2013 world record.

“I broke Wilson’s world record in Berlin last year and now I want the London title,” said Kimetto. Kipsang and Kimetto, 30, are training partners in the Kenyan town of Iten but have never faced each other over the marathon distance.

There are 10 runners in the men’s field who have gone under two hours six minutes, including multiple track Olympic and world 10,000 and 5,000m champion and world record holder Kenenisa Bekele.

Emmanuel Mutai, the 2011 London winner, is also competing.


Wilson Kipsang misses drug test

Kenyan distance runner Wilson Kipsang missed an out-of-competition drugs test in November, Athletics Kenya (AK) said on Tuesday.

AK said that according to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) rules, a missed test would be recorded against the winner of this year’s London and New York marathons, but there would be no sanction.

He can request for an administrative review of the decision. Athletes are deemed to have breached doping rules if they commit a total of three “whereabouts failures”, within any 18-month period.

Kipsang, a bronze medallist in the marathon at the 2012 Olympics, was not immediately available to comment.

AK said that Kipsang missed the test on November 13, and the athlete was requested by the IAAF to provide an explanation, which he did on November 23.

Dozens of Kenyan athletes have failed dope tests in the past two years. Kenyan government officials have blamed the growing doping cases on foreign agents and Athletics Kenya’s failure to educate its athletes properly.

AK said on Monday that Kenyan distance runners Viola Chelangat Kimetto and Joyce Jemutai Kiplimo failed drugs tests and will be banned for two years, adding that tests from five other Kenyan athletes have aroused suspicion.

In October, Kenya’s Rita Jeptoo, winner of the Boston and Chicago Marathons for the last two years, failed an out-of-competition doping test, and was suspended from competition pending testing of a B sample to be done this week.


Nine Reasons Wilson Kipsang Won The NYC Marathon

  1. He’s been at it full-time since 2007 – In 2007, in his first go at running outside Kenya, he won and set a world record at a 10-mile race in Germany. He eventually moved up in distance to the marathon and was again rewarded immediately for the extra effort, debuting in 2:07:10, third place, at the 2010 Paris Marathon.
  2. He trains at altitude – Kipsang trains in the iconic towns of Iten (7,900 feet above sea level) and Eldoret (6,550 feet). The elevation is similar to Flagstaff in the U.S. The air is thin, so his body has adjusted by producing more red blood cells to carry oxygen.
  3. He logged at least three months of 110-plus-mile weeks – That’s about 16 miles a day, seven days a week, if you average it. But since the goal is not to run 16 miles many days in a row, but rather 26.2 miles very fast just once, he did some very long, 40K (almost 25-mile) runs and some shorter, faster workouts in the week. That means he regularly covered almost the full marathon distance in training, probably eight times before race day, something few average runners do.
  4. He runs a company that runs him – Literally. Since the mid-1980s, very successful runners like Kipsang have created productive distance running farm teams. He toldRunning Times he trimmed his training group from 40 to 15 guys, downsizing his company to make it more efficient, because it was a hassle and expensive to support that many employees.
  5. He does not multitask; he focuses – Kipsang invested his winnings by building a resort hotel in Kenya, which his wife manages. He told  IAAF that when he’s training for a marathon, he avoids even going to the hotel to cut down on distractions. Other top East African runners move away from their families in training mode, living a spartan, distraction-free life at a training camp.
  6. He’s tall and lean – At 6 feet tall, Kipsang is taller than most elite marathoners, which can be a hindrance, but he’s also very lean—137 pounds. Though he maintains a cadence of 180-190 footfalls per minute, like other top runners, his stride length allows him to cover more asphalt with each step. And he’s not dragging much baggage along for the ride.
  7. He’s smooth and efficient –  His head does not bobble; it stays relatively smooth. His arm carriage is low, even though he’s nearly sprinting, meaning his upper body is relaxed, helping propel him forward, rather than tensing and hindering forward movement.
  8. He ran the final 10K in 29:10 – That’s … very fast. The first 20 miles were covered at relatively pedestrian 5:05 minute/mile pace, partly due to the 31 mph wind, either head on or quartering. Even at 18.6 miles, he was on pace for a 2:13:04 finish time.
  9. He’s patient and cool under pressure.The thought occurs to experienced and inexperienced marathoners to make hay while the sun shines: If I feel good at halfway, why not pick up the pace a bit? Kipsang has run 2:03:23, or about 4:42 per mile, so the pace up until 20 miles must have felt frustratingly slow.