What you need to know:
- All athletes and support staff were tested for Covid-19 at home four days before arriving at the biosecure hotel bubble and were tested again on their day of arrival
- Kipchumba will be making his London debut and sees the race as “one of the most memorable” in his career
- Competing with the likes of Kipchoge and Bekele excites the soft-spoken athlete and he is looking forward to be among the top athletes when 42km will be over
Red hot favourites Eliud Kipchoge, Kenenisa Bekele, Brigid Kosgei and Ruth Chepng’etich were among the first group of athletes and coaches to arrive at the biosecure hotel bubble on Monday ahead of Sunday’s London Marathon, immediately going through strict Covid-19 testing.
The athletes and support staff spent the day on Monday settling in and relaxing after the overnight chartered flight before training on the lawns of their hotel later in the evening and on Tuesday.
Kipchoge’s manager Valentijn Trouw said it was great to be in London, finally, and described the facilities inside the athlete bubble as “excellent.”
“It’s almost exactly a year since Eliud’s last race in Vienna when he became the first man to run a sub two hour marathon. That’s a very long time to wait to race again and we are all counting the days until Sunday,” Trouw of Global Sports Communication said.
All athletes and support staff were tested for Covid-19 at home four days before arriving at the biosecure hotel bubble and were tested again on their day of arrival. Spencer Barden, Elite Athlete Manager for the London Marathon, could not wait for racing to start.
“After months of planning and preparation, we were delighted to welcome more than 40 athletes from Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa, USA, Canada, Mexico and Australia to the bubble today. The excitement is really building now,” he said.
Also in the Kenyan party for Sunday’s race (which will be live and exclusive on NTV) is Amsterdam Marathon champion Vincent Kipchumba.
Kipchumba will be making his London debut and sees the race as “one of the most memorable” in his career.
Kipchumba has been training in Kapsabet, Nandi County, under the watchful eye of coach Claudio Berardelli of 2Running Club.
In March things changed when all the camps were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Having been named in for the initial April’s London Marathon, Kipchumba was ready and optimistic, but had to scale down his training after the race was pushed from April 26 to October 4.
Improve Personal Best
He lives a few kilometres from the Eldoret International Airport and is optimistic all will go well in London.
“I have done good training and my expectations is to do well on Sunday during the race and I will be focusing to run my personal best time,” he told Nation Sport.
“It shall be tight given that I will be competing with athletes who have faster times than mine,” said Kipchumba. As he scaled down his training, Kipchumba followed a programme sent to him by his coach through WhatsApp.
“My coach has been resourceful and when the race was postponed to October, I went back home but I followed the programme he gave me and I must say I’m good to go on Sunday,” said Kipchumba.
Competing with the likes of Kipchoge and Bekele excites the soft-spoken athlete and he is looking forward to be among the top athletes when 42km will be over.
“I know it will be a tough race and a faster one and having prepared since February, I believe I will be able to run my best race and I want to be in good position,” he added.
Kipchumba won the First Lady’s Half Marathon March in 61:54.