Chicago Marathon runner-up Sammy Kitwara has attributed his performance at the race on Sunday to the advise and mentorship of former world marathon record holder Wilson Kipsang.
Kitwara, who was making his third appearance in Chicago after bagging bronze last year and finishing fourth in 2012, said he had spent training sessions with Kipsang just a week before heading to Chicago.
“Kipsang is an inspiration. He dedicated his time to train with me and he offered quality advise to me, saying I was ready to come as low as a sub 2.04hr, which I actually did,” said Kitwara.
The four times World’s Best 10k race champion (2011, 2012, and 2013) says he was lined up for Chicago with intent to improve his personal best and to win a better medal.
“I had trained well and observed the necessary steps in preparations and when I flew out of the country, lowering my best to at least a sub 2.04 was my main target, besides winning a better medal,” Kitwara said.
However, the 2009 Rotterdam half Marathon champion said a better medal for him was gold but when Kipchoge surged forward and breasted the tape first, the joy after a Kenyan 1, 2, 3 finishes was all that counted later, the honours were home at last.
He says he has been hoping to win gold in the World Marathon Majors races and Sunday was the day he had been waiting all his life.
“Gold medal expectation did not materialize but we are glad an earlier plot not to let Ethiopians reach the podium finally got perfectly executed,” the overjoyed Kitwara noted.
Kitwara made his marathon debut in 2012 in Rotterdam but dropped out after 30km.