After several attempts without success, Laban Korir now hopes for victory this time round when this year’s Amsterdam Marathon goes down on Sunday in the Dutch capital.
Korir, who trains with NN Running Team in Kaptagat, believes that his change of training will produce the much desired results after finishing second in 2:06:05, fourth in 2016 in a personal best of 2:05:54 and sixth in 2017 in 2:07:01.
“I have trained well and my focus is to win the race,” said Korir, who has been training alongside World marathon record-holder Eliud Kipchoge, who is also the London and Berlin Marathon champion, and New York City Marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor.
Korir said that Kipchoge, who retained his Berlin Marathon crown in a World Record time of 2:01:39 on September 16 this year, has always inspired him and the rest of the athletes in camp.
“I look up to Kipchoge for guidance since his victory in Berlin took the competition to a different level. I hope to replicate his achievements one day,” said the 34-year-old, who was in Rotterdam in April this year, finishing fourth in 2:05:58. “I have changed so many things in my training programme since I started training with Kipchoge and the likes of Kamworor.”
Korir, who finished third in Rotterdam last year, acknowledged that it won’t be easy for him with a strong field set to battle in Amsterdam. Korir is up against defending champion Lawrence Cherono and 2016 Berlin Marathon champion Kenenisa Bekele.
“I expect a fast race, which will be advantageous since I want to lower my personal best,” said Korir. “I want to take a shot at sub 2 hours four minutes. I have watched Bekele run but I have never had a chance of compete with him. He is an experienced athlete and the race will be a thriller.”
In 2012, Korir also competed at Boston Marathon and Chicago Marathon where he finished sixth and 11th respectively besides Paris Marathon where he settled second in 2016 (2:07:29) and sixth in 2015 (2:07:54).
Korir’s training mate Robert Chemosin and former Mumbai Marathon champion Gideon Kipketer, are also looking forward to a great Amsterdam race.
Chemosin, who has a personal best of 2:08:05, said his desire will be to lower his PB.