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Vincent Kipchumba, elite entrant to the 2020 London Marathon talks about his training amid the COVID 19 pandemic

April 30, 2020
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Vincent Kipchumba winning the Vienna City Marathon in April 2019. Photo courtesy: Olaf Brockmann

Vincent Kipchumba was one of the elite entrants for the London Marathon that was to take place in April. He was one of the main contenders. Those who know him were eagerly looking forward to watching him pull out a big surprise in a race that was expected to become an affair between Kenenisa Bekele and Eliud Kipchoge.

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I remember watching one of the biggest half marathon races in Kenya; the First Lady Half Marathon in Nairobi last month. It was during the last stages of the race when for a moment I had thought that there was a separate motorcycle race taking place. Two motorcyclists were racing along the highway as the helicopter gave us a bird’s eye view of the event that was being broadcasted live on TV. Then, just behind the motorcycles was Kipchumba, doing a solo run. There was an empty road behind him, which rarely happens in Kenyan races.

“I had decided to use the half marathon race to test my readiness for the London Marathon and only decided to make a move in the last few kilometers of it since my body felt so good,” he told me when I approached him for a short interview over the phone.

Having had a great year by winning both the Vienna City and the Amsterdam marathons last year, Kipchumba’s expectations were high leading up to the London Marathon. “My body was feeling great and I was aiming for both a podium finish and a personal best time,” he said.

His dreams for a great race in April suddenly disappeared when the London Marathon was postponed to October, followed by the Kenyan government’s directive to close training camps in Kenya.

“It would have been hard to maintain the same training level all the way to October, anyway. For now, I have cut down on my training to focus on the October race” said Kipchumba.

While regretting the lost chance to run this month in London, he is now using the opportunity to work at the farm while the training camps are closed. “Currently, I train individually at home while at the same time planting and developing my farm so that I will have ample time to train fully when the training camps re-open.”

Kipchumba who has in the past been training at other various training destinations in Kenya; from Iten, to Eldoret, to Kaptagat and finally to Kapsabet says that he thinks he has found an ideal place for him to train in Kapsabet.

“When I moved to Kapsabet, I found that the weather there was the best for me personally to train. I think Kapsabet is the best place for me to train. I also give credit to my new coach there and the strong training group I found there.” He said.

After everything comes back to normal again, Vincent Kipchumba will definitely be one of the runners to watch out for in the marathon.

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