The excitement ahead of this year’s Virgin London Marathon has already started building up especially with the entry of two world-class debutantes, namely Vivian Cheruiyot and Bedan Karoki.
After a stellar career on the track, Cheruiyot has elected to have a stab at the marathon, on the famous streets of London on April 23. She told Daily Nation Sport how she has meticulously planned her transition from the track, and the fact that she is cognizant of the huge demands of endurance running.
Organisers of the Virgin London Marathon on Monday named a stellar cast for this year’s race in which Olympic Champion Jemimah Sumgong will be red hot favourite to defend her title.
With a personal best time of two hours, 20 minutes and 41 seconds, Sumgong will face stiff opposition from, among others, a quartet of sub-2:20 performers namely former winners Mary Keitany (2:18:37) and Aselefech Mergia (2:19:31) along with Florence Kiplagat (2:19:44) and world champion Mare Dibaba (2:19:52).
Cheruiyot started her marathon training soon after last year’s Olympics in Rio where she clinched the elusive gold in the 5,000 metres to add onto the 10,000m silver she had earlier picked up. She has based her training in Kaptagat, Elgeyo-Marakwet County.
“I will be running my first marathon and I just want to say that I will run well. I’m not looking who will be there since they have participated before, and they have the experience,” Cheruiyot told Daily Nation Sport.
“I started preparing for the race last year after the World Championships because I know it’s not easy. You have to really work hard for good results,” said Cheruiyot.
In September last year, Cheruiyot won the 36th Great North Run Half Marathon, beating seasoned road runner and former London Marathon winner Prisca Jeptoo narrowly.
Clocking in the miles has been her main priority: “There is no difference in my training. It’s only that we introduced long runs which was not in my previous training when I used to run on the track,” she explains.
“Currently, I’m just training hard and I have not yet decided whether or not I will participate any half marathon as a build-up to the major race in April,” she added.