What you need to know:
- His dream to become a nurse was shattered by the coronavirus pandemic which struck in 2020 and he was forced to drop his ambitions and become an athlete full time, something he said that he now enjoys doing.
- “I had received a letter from one of the universities in the USA and I even had my I-20 document but the pandemic broke and there was a lockdown across the world.
- “That’s how I lost contact with the school and I decided to run commercially and so far I’m happy,” he said.
Pacesetters are crucial in a race, especially if the organisers are targeting fast times.
And as the Berlin Marathon goes down on September 24, these “rabbits” will be tasked to lead various groups.
These are the athletes who are always in front of the elite runners and they help them stay on track to achieve a desired time, or goal, at the 42-kilometre mark.
It’s worth noting that marathon organisers have different strategies for pacing and employing pacemakers, and the specific approach can vary from one event to another.
The ultimate goal is to help elite runners achieve their desired times or break records, but the methods employed can differ.
Most of the pacesetters are tasked to lead various groups up to 21km, 25km or 30km and at times they can even finish the race and win the prize on offer.
For instance, Simon Kipkosgei who had been tasked to pace up to 28km mark at the Berlin Marathon in 2000 decided to finish the race and walked away with the prize which was about $25,000 dollars then, or Sh3.7 million in current exchange rates.
Nation Sport caught up with Kipkosgei in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County where he said his primary responsibility is to maintain a consistent and fast pace for the runners in the fourth group, ensuring that they stay on track to reach the 30km mark within the specified time frame.
The target splits of three minutes to three minutes and five seconds per kilometer indicate the pace at which he and the group are expected to run.
Maintaining such a precise and consistent pace is crucial in helping the runners in the fourth group achieve their desired times or goals for the marathon and it requires a high level of skill and endurance on the part of the pacemaker to execute this task effectively, as well as the ability to gauge the effort and adjust as necessary to hit the target splits.
“I’m heading to the Berlin Marathon to do my best to make sure the target is achieved and I believe I have done good training ahead of the event.
“Berlin is one of the greatest marathons in the world and getting a chance to pace is a milestone for me,” said Kipkosgei.
His dream to become a nurse was shattered by the coronavirus pandemic which struck in 2020 and he was forced to drop his ambitions and become an athlete full time, something he said that he now enjoys doing.
“I had received a letter from one of the universities in the USA and I even had my I-20 document but the pandemic broke and there was a lockdown across the world.
“That’s how I lost contact with the school and I decided to run commercially and so far I’m happy,” he said.
Born in Kesses in Uasin Gishu County, he started running in Standard Seven where he could compete in the 1,500m category, something he went on doing and even managed to reach the East Africa Games in Rwanda where he emerged fourth in 2017.
After completing his education at Kipsaos High School in Elgeyo Marakwet County, he went to Iten for more training before joining Rongai Athletics Club under coach Bernard Ouma for six months before heading to Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County.
He believes that in the next five years he will be among some of the top marathoners in the world adding that discipline and hard work is what an athlete must maintain to achieve better results.
Date of birth: September 4, 2000
Place of birth: Kesses, Uasin Gishu
Discipline: Half Marathon
Management: Ikaika Sports
Personal best times:
Half Marathon: 61:00
Cross Country 10km: 29:20