Mathew Kisorio has done time for cheating in sports and, on his return, has literally hit the ground running seemingly in a hurry to take care of some unfinished business.
The long distance runner this week publicly declared that he was preparing for a shot at the world half marathon record.
In fact, the confident Kisorio said he was going to make the bold attempt next week at breaking Eritrea’s Zersenay Tadese four-year old record of 58:23 set at the Lisbon half marathon on March 21, 2010.
Kisorio, 25, winner of the African junior 5,000 and 10,000 metres titles in 2007, sounded an early warning of his intentions last weekend when he clinched the Family Bank Half Marathon title in Eldoret.
A few weeks ago, in his first race after serving his ban, he cruised to victory at the Safaricom Jaramogi Oginga Odinga 15-kilometre road race in Bondo, winning in 45 minutes and 15 seconds, well ahead of second-placed Vincent Yator (45:51).
Kosorio tested positive for anabolic steroids at the national championships in June, 2012 and was subsequently banned for two years.
He said he was incited to use drugs by his doctors and is now craving to retrace his steps to stardom. If last weekend’s Bondo result is anything to go by, his rivals better take notice.
“I want to run for my country again. I want to erase all my bad history and anything negative Kenyans may have felt about my ban,” Kisorio said in an exclusive interview with the Saturday Nation Sport.
Athletics Kenya has already given him the green light to compete again following three mandatory post-ban tests put him in the clear.
He did not need any prompting, storming Bondo before searing opponents at Ndakaini and Eldoret in emphatic wins.
“I feel like flying the Kenyan flag again and at the moment as I await the confirmation, I am so thirsty to be back on track to embark on my career,” said Kisorio at his Kapsabet training base.
Kisorio, who was Kenya’s team captain at the 2011 World Cross Country Championships in Punta Umbria, Spain, fell to the depths of utter desolation when he was given a two-year suspension that ended in July for using erythropoietin.
The first born in a running family, tells of the ordeal that he endured being away from the sport he so loved.
“It was hard and devastating. Staying out in the cold for two years was a nightmare especially since it affected my plans of training to shatter the world 10 km and half marathon records. I received the ban when I was in top shape to break the mark,” Kisorio says.
In fact, the elder brother to 2013 Paris Marathon champion Peter Kimeli Some, world junior steeplechase champion Ruth Jebet and Nicholas Togom says almost give up running.
“Seeing my friends training and jetted out for international races was almost too much for me to bear. To maintain my sanity I held onto my faith and prayed that this period would be over and that I would rise again,” Kisorio goes back a the dark period in his running career.
“I took up the police job as a way to get away from it all – being seen a traitor. I was posted to as far as Isiolo and Kuria where I worked as a constable at times serving in night duties. The long hours on the beat allowed me to converse with myself and I got back my morale and decided to return to training.”
Kisorio’s personal best time of 58:46 minutes in the half marathon mark him as third fastest man ever over the distance.
His father, the late Some Muge, went down in history as the first Kenyan to win a World Cross Country Championships medal, a bronze in 1983. He died in 1997.
“In the past five weeks, I have managed to win three races and finished second in one. The victories coming at such short intervals have convinced me that I am ripe to go for the world 21km record, a feat I have been aiming all my life,” Kisorio said.
“I set my best time at this distance in 2011, then I wasn’t really trying for any record. Now I am seeking to slash the 26 seconds. That is my aim.”
Kisorio, who has Philadelphia and Kagawa Marugane half marathons wins under his belt, has a marathon best of 2:10:58 hours posted on debut over the distance at the New York City marathon in 2011.
Kisorio trains with his brother Some at Kapsabet’s high altitude and lush green tea belts, always with flashed of his 2007 glory days.
His running siblings Some, the 2011 Paris Marathon champion, and Togom have been crucial to Kisorio’s comeback, not just as family, but as training mates.
“When we train together our minds are settled,” Togom said.
Kisorio is now looking for a new management as he prepares for his international return. It could be with a mighty bang.