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Low-key reception for Kipsang

Tuesday November 1 2011

By JONATHAN KOMEN ([email protected])

Frankfurt Marathon stars returned to Eldoret town on Tuesday morning to a low-key reception without the usual fanfare that greets worldbeaters’ home coming.

Wilson Kipsang, who won the 30th edition of the BMW Frankfurt Marathon after running just four seconds shy of the 2 hours 3 minutes and 38 seconds all-time best mark set by Patrick Makau, was among a contingent of 16 Kenyan athletes who competed in Frankfurt last Sunday.

The squad, which had Kipsang’s wife Doreen, landed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 2am on Tuesday and proceeded to the city centre from where they all boarded a shuttle van to Eldoret town.

Athletics stars usually land at Eldoret International Airport where family members, friends and elite runners welcome them back home — with a guard of mursik (sour milk).

Doreen stunned the Germany city when she offered mursik to her husband in what almost overshadowed the usual victory champagne.

Kipsang, a police officer, said: “I am happy to have romped home with the second-best official time. I felt good running before my wife and that motivated me a lot.”

‘Mursik’ motivation

Doreen said. “I believed carrying mursik made from milk from my cow at home would give us victory. And so I chose it because in our culture (Kalenjin), milk brings more blessings. I also thought our milk is stronger.”

Her decision to offer her husband mursik at the finish line surprised many as international media sought to find out why she could not offer Kipsang German milk instead.

An elated Kipsang, who posted a brilliant 2 hours 3 minutes and 42 seconds, said he would now focus on the Olympics.

“I pray that Athletics Kenya selects me to the national Olympics team. It will give me enough time to prepare as I will only have one race in April 2012 to test my form,” said the 29-year-old.

Already, world record holder Patrick Makau and double world marathon champion Abel Kirui have been awarded wild cards in the three-man team to London next year.

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