After claiming his maiden win in marathon last weekend in New York, Geoffrey Kamworor has now set sights on defending his World Half Marathon title next year.
It was third time lucky for Kamworor after finishing third in his marathon debut in Berlin in 2012, then coming second to Stanley Biwott in New York in 2015.
On Sunday, Kamworor ran a tactical race in the final stages to claim his maiden major 42km race.
He quietly returned to Eldoret where he was received by a few friends and without much fanfare.
Unlike other athletes who are normally welcomed with mursik (sour milk) and the Kalenjin ceremonial plant Sinendet, Kamworor had none of that and in fact quietly drove himself home.
Kamworor said he had a lot of things line up and would only celebrate after achieving more.
“I didn’t want a lot of fanfare because I believe I have just started doing well in marathon and there is more to come. When that time comes, we shall celebrate,” said the two-time World Cross Country champion.
Kamworor’s focus is now on making Team Kenya for the IAAF World Half Marathon in Valencia, Spain next year.
“I’m eyeing a slot in Team Kenya for the World Half Marathon where I will also be defending my title for the third time,” he added.
“I believe with the training that I have been doing and the experience I have from the past events will help me retain the title,” said Kamworor.
Kamworor, nicknamed “The Man of all Surfaces” by his peers, attributed his success to high discipline at the camp in Kaptagat.
“We normally adhere to the rules in the camp which has brought us good results,” he said.
Kamworor said Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge, who received him at the finish line in New York on Sunday, has been guiding him.
“I admire Kipchoge (Eliud) who has always been my mentor.
“We train with him in Kaptagat which is a very conducive place for us.”
In March, Kamworor retained his World Cross Country Championships title in Kampala.
He was in the Kenyan team that headed to London for the World Championships where he finished sixth in the 10,000m.