Nandi County, they say, is the ‘Source of Champions’. Almost every world beater in athletics – from the legendary Kipchoge Keino to Janeth Jepkosgei – calls this part of the country home.
This is where speed meets endurance; where budding athletes nurture their skills and where races are planned and executed with military precision. And that’s on the track.
At 2pm today, hundreds of fans will flock to Tortoise Hotel in Kapsabet, owned by 2008 Olympic 800m champion Wilfred Bungei, to follow the 119th Boston Marathon action. Bank of Africa, which has launched a World Marathon Majors ‘viewerthon’ spectacle, are sponsoring the event at the hotel.
Cherangany MP and 2012 Boston Marathon winner Wesley Korir, and three-time Amsterdam Marathon champion Wilson Chebet, are the men’s top draws in today’s marathon.
Korir must be at his best to counter the strong field that also has two-time world marathon champion Abel Kirui.
Korir has had a tight schedule lately – shuffling between speed-work sessions at Nyayo National Stadium and attending Parliament.
“This is how we work hard my friend. No pain, no gain. All I need is bathing soap for a shower and a change of clothes before I head to Parliament,” he told FeverPitch after training at Nyayo National Stadium recently.
Also coming from training was Chebet, who expressed satisfaction with the session.
“I’ve done some good training and look forward to a good performance in Boston,” he said.
Chebet finished second to USA’s Meb Keflezighi in last year’s race and has been preparing for Boston in Kaptuli and Kapsoya in Eldoret.
The women’s top runners include 2011 and 2012 winners Caroline Kilel and Sharon Cherop.
“The field is good and I will try my best,” said Cherop, who based most of her training in Iten while Kilel prepared for the world’s oldest annual marathon in her hometown of Kericho. Bank of Africa will also organise a similar ‘viewerthon’ at the Keellu Hotel in Iten on Sunday, April 26.
The Abbott World Marathon Majors, whose chief sponsor is global health services provider Abbott, started with the Tokyo Marathon on February 22 and, besides Boston and London, other races will be the World Championships marathons in July alongside the Berlin Marathon (September 27), Chicago Marathon (October 11) and New York Marathon (November 1).
Wilson Kipsang and Edna Kiplagat, who will both launch their 2015 World Marathon Majors campaigns in London on April 26, are the defending champions in the series whose men’s and women’s winners each pocket a $500,000 (Sh45 million) jackpot.
Courtesy of standardmedia.co.ke