09 May 2017, 2pm
Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon and Ottawa 10K
Sun 28 May 2017
The 30-year old three-time Commonwealth Champion (5,000m/10,000m) has been a major force on the track for the past decade but has had his share of troubles.
At the 2008 Olympics, he missed the medal podium by one place. In London four years later, he fell during the Olympic 10,000m final and wound up a disappointed 10th. But it was only a year ago that he turned his attention to the marathon recording his personal best time (2:14:18) at the 2016 New York Marathon where he finished 7th. Now he is preparing to show the athletics world what he is really capable of in the classic distance.
“So far I have only run two marathons and so I am still learning the event,” he says from his training base in Kaptagat, Kenya. “On my debut in Hamburg (April 2016) I was on 2:06 pace until deep into the race, when my body started to shut down.
“I found out afterwards that I was suffering from malaria at the time. New York was a more tactical race early on and also a harder course. But after New York I know now that I am capable of a good marathon.”
“I did train hard for my two previous marathons. I do feel I learned from those experiences and now I am ready to show my best at the marathon distance,” he says. “My training is going very well. I am really pleased to have had a sustained period of no injuries, which has been the biggest issue for me the past few years.
“I train in a combination of being around my home in Kapchorwa, Uganda, and at the PACE training camp in Kaptagat, Kenya. When in Uganda I have a group of guys who assist me and when in Kaptagat I train with fellow PACE athletes such as (Kenyans) Mark Kiptoo, Micah Kogo and Emmanuel Bett.”
Kipsiro was introduced to PACE Management Director Ricky Simms, who also manages Usain Bolt and Mo Farah by fellow Ugandan Boniface Kiprop. Within a year of working with Simms, he won the coveted African 10,000m title. Under Simms’ direction Kipsiro moved to England during the summer track season where he trained with Mo Farah, among others.
These days his marathon program is overseen by Mike Skinner, a British international runner who works for PACE. At the 2015 Delhi Half Marathon Kipsiro ran 60:41, an indicator that he has enormous potential at the full marathon distance.
“My goal is always to do my best in my next race,” Kipsiro reveals. “So for me right now I am focused on running a great race in Ottawa. Then, after that, we shall see what options I have and long term I still see Tokyo 2020 as a realistic target for me.”