Former marathon world record holder Wilson Kipsang will return to London this year to defend his 2014 title. Last year, Kipsang won the London Marathon in an astonishing 2hrs 4mins 29secs to break the course record.
Kipsang set his former world record in 2013 at the Berlin Marathon, running 26.2 miles in a mind-blowing 2hrs 3mins 23secs. However, at Berlin last year, Wilson’s friend and training partner Dennis Kimetto took the title and will, this year, join Kipsang at the VMLM to battle it out together over the marathon distance for the very first time.
Winning eight marathons, seven half marathons and Olympic bronze at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Wilson Kipsang has had an astonishing eight year career. This month, we caught up with Wilson in New York City at the launch of the new Adidas Ultra Boost running shoe about everything from his aspirations for London in 2015, to his best advice for achieving a race day PB.
For an athlete with such remarkable talent, Wilson is one of the most unassuming people you could meet. When we asked him how he felt about competing against his arch rival, Dennis Kimetto, who took his record away in 2013, Wilson told us that whilst he hopes to win the London Marathon this year, he recognises that the competition will be high and looks forward to the challenge. “I think it will be really nice for me to race against him at London”, he said, “it will be a nice time for me and him to really be together and to compete.
“The other guys are also strong so I think it will be a nice challenge to see what time, what we can really do when we are all together.”
Talking to Wilson about his achievements, Wilson told us that a tactical approach to racing has been key to his success. Reflecting on his success at the 2014 New York City Marathon he said:
“When the weather is not good the race becomes so tricky because no one wants to take the lead. So you find it becomes more tricky. But you find that in such a situation you have to be very smart, upstairs, because you have to know how to position yourself, when to lead, when to break from the group so it was very tactical for me.”
We quizzed Wilson further about his tactics for race day, asking for his best advice on pacing yourself over a long distance event. Explaining the importance of listening to your body, he added:
“I think it all starts from you. You have to really do your own personal analysis, how much energy you’ve got left so you can really see. Are you in a position to pace yourself for the last 10K? So if your mind says that ‘you can do it’, then you can do it but if your mind says that ‘no it’s too far’ then you just have to keep holding and just wait…”
When we asked for Wilson’s advice on achieving a race day personal best, Wilson gave us one piece of advice that really stuck. He said: “make sure, at all times, you try to run faster because you can. If you run fast at any race towards 10 you’ll always get your time.”
When it’s coming from the former marathon world record holder, you can’t help but take such advice on board: “Run faster because you can.”
Watch the full interview here:
Wilson Kipsang was launching the new Adidas Ultra Boost running trainer in New York. www.adidas.co.uk/ultraboost