Thanks to iRun magazine for sponsoring my credentials, as I was able to attend the press conference welcoming Emmanuel Mutai and Mary Keitany as the returning winners from the 2011 Virgin London Marathon.
Dave Bedford (pictured at the bottom) is the Race Director who gathered this extremely talented calibre of runners (some have called this marathon the ‘unofficial” Kenyan time trials).
I was able to meet and speak with Emmanuel Mutai, (second photo) who had suffered a bout of typhoid but said he was strong enough to defend his title. Unfortunately he came in 7th in a time of 2:08:01. For the rest of us mere mortals 2:08:01 is something we can only dream about.
The 2012 winner Wilson Kipsang ran 2:04:44
Mary Keitany, if you recall, lead a blistering pace from the beginning at the ING NewYork City Marathon in November 2011 only to be passed in the final few kilometres and ending up being third. Redemption must have been wonderful in London.
It was interesting to notice that when asked the question about her decision to run out front and that fast in NewYork she just smirked and said that she felt good and ran how she felt.
Apparently, after the race her coach, Renato Canova,, berated her for doing this, but I guess in the final analysis, she showed him a thing or two about running. By running a stellar second half and utterly ridiculous final 10km, Mary became the 3rd-fastest woman in history as she won the 2012 Virgin London women’s marathon in 2:18:37 thanks to a sensational 67:44 second half. The 2:18:37 is a new Kenyan national record, eclipsing Catherine Ndereba’s 2:18:47 that was set in 2001 in Chicago
She must have felt really really great on Sunday, as she finished in a time that was 1 minute 13 seconds ahead of second place Edna Kiplagat.
The picture at the top is with Mary and her husband Charles Koech (himself a 61 minute half marathon runner) together with their son Jared. Imagine what Jared’s times will be like if he decides to take up running. Genetics play a huge part in your fitness level and the reason why you need to choose your parents wisely.
The next post will be about The Kenyans and the rest of the world elite’s as they were presented to the press gallery on Wednesday. Plus some photos at the STWM booth .
Then I will send pictures from my position at the photobooth from the early finisher viewpoint.