Olympic 5,000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya is not under pressure to deliver or worried of her next assault when she debuts at the London Marathon on April 23.
The 33-year-old however, expects a good performance as she makes the big switch to marathon competition. And she warned she has nothing to prove but everything to learn in her new engagement, which diverts the pressure off her.
“I have always had challenges in my life and the decision to move up to marathon was my own. It is a new chapter, which I intend to tackle head-on. But I have nothing to lose, but everything to learn. The outcome of the race will be important to me as a lesson and also as a motivator for future races,” she said on Wednesday.
However, Cheruiyot said a win in London, which serves as a trial run for the selection of Kenya team to the World Championships, will not convince her to run the 42km distance in the London event in August.
“My focus is still to run the 10,000m race at the World Championships and then see which other marathon to run in October or September. It is all in my plans, but for the world championships, I still need that last attempt to retain my title,” added Cheruiyot.
Ever since she broke on the global stage in 1999 in Bydgoszcz, Poland at the World Youth Championships, Cheruiyot has had a tide of opposition against her course and that will only intensify in London marathon where she will meet some of the most season road runners eyeing the title.
“I don’t want to put a lot of thought on it. I want to run pressure free so that I can enjoy the race and let my legs do the talking. Remember it will be a new experience to me and for now I have just competed running my 40km training and I need to do it every now and then,” she said.
In London, she will come up against in-form New York champion Mary Keitany, who is seeking a third London title and chance to compete at the World Championships after she was overlooked for the Rio Olympics. Then there is defending champion Jemimah Sumgong and Florence Kiplagat, the winner in Chicago.
“I have not competed with them and I have not run the marathon, I don’t feel any anxiety,” she said. “I have just started preparing for London race. I ran my first 40km two weeks ago as part of my preparation. I think it will be exciting.”
Cheruiyot hopes to run a faster time of under two hours and twenty minutes but believes finishing the race will be more important. Enditem