Fresh from winning the New York Marathon and the world marathon majors title last Sunday, Wilson Kipsang says he can’t wait to arrive in South Africa next weekend.
The world’s most sought-after 42km runner is part of a group of high-profile guests who will participate at the inaugural Global Athletics Conference in Durban on Friday and Saturday.
The two-day conference will focus on the performance and business side of athletics.
Speaking to City Press from his home in Kenya this week, Kipsang (32) said: “South Africa is a very impressive country with beautiful sites. I really enjoyed my last and first stay there [as a guest at the Two Oceans Marathon in Cape Town in May]. I am looking forward to coming again. I hope the weather will be good and that I will be surrounded by friendly people. I just finished a very tough race [last Sunday], so I hope I get some time to relax too.”
Kipsang has just concluded a remarkable season that saw him winning the overall $500?000 jackpot as the 2013/14 World Marathon Majors champion.
“It is something that I have had on my list for many years, so I am happy to have achieved this,” he said of the feat that saw him beat his countryman Dennis Kimetto to the coveted title by a single point.
The World Marathon Majors is made up of the Tokyo, London, Boston, Berlin, Chicago and New York marathons, where a points system is used to determine the winners. Kipsang’s win in New York (2:10:59) last Sunday was his third victory in a row and collected the first prize purse of $100?000.
The 2012 Olympics marathon bronze medallist won the London Marathon (2:04:29) in April, six months after he set the global 42km record of 2:03:23 at the Berlin Marathon in September last year.
The record was later shattered by Kimetto, who clinched the Berlin Marathon in a time of 2:02:57 two months ago.
Kimetto has also been invited to the Global Athletics Conference, which is envisaged to be a new dawn for athletics in South Africa (see box).
As for his chances of running in South Africa, Kipsang said: “To be honest, I don’t expect to be running in South Africa soon.
“But you never know what will cross my path. I am always interested in something new.”
»On the evening before the race, I always look for spaghetti, meat and vegetables.
»?I usually sleep a lot the days before the race. My sleeping time on the eve of the race is around 10pm.
»?I run an average 180km per week (during training), depending on the timing and when the race is scheduled.
»??I train mostly in Iten and sometimes in Kapngetuny (both in Kenya).
»?My dream is to win the London Marathon for the third time. Boston, Tokyo and Chicago marathons are also on my list.
»?My biggest dream is to win all majors and for sure a gold medal in a championship (Olympics and World Championships).
»?My training partners are many guys in Iten and Kapngetuny and they are all very important to me. I don’t have a coach and my management is Volare Sports (a Netherlands-based sports management firm).