No soul under the sun can match –with precision and class –the hard work and determination Amos Kipruto has summoned to excel in marathons.
Kipruto, the 2019 world marathon bronze medalist and 2022 London Marathon champion, is not your typical Kenyan athlete.
From childhood, Kipruto nursed lofty dreams: to stage excellent shows in athletics. And it has come to pass.
Kipruto, who put on hold his athletics desires to concentrate on academics, seems to follow in the counsel of American author Les Brown who once said: “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss it, you will still land among the stars.”
Kipruto, who trains under the 2Running Athletics Club in Kapsabet, is keen to atone for failing to impress at the London Marathon in April where he took a fall mid-way through the race.
He must be at his best at the Berlin Marathon on Sunday as he will take on a quality line up that comprises 10 Kenyans. But he will be racing on familiar ground, having finished second to world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge when he set the then all-time mark of 2:01.39 in 2018.
He will be competing against a rich field of 10 athletes from Kenya but to his advantage, he will be returning to the Berlin Marathon after emerging second in 2018 when Eliud Kipchoge broke the world record clocking 2:01:39.
“I have had a fantastic training. I know it will be a tough battle. I have done all I could. It’s always exciting for me to compete against Kipchoge. It motivates me a lot. I want to run my personal best in Berlin,” he said.
Kipruto has competed in 13 marathons across the globe and Berlin –a flat course with 17 turns –would be a perfect ground for Kipruto to improve his personal best.
He will battle a rich field that has Kipchoge, Mark Korir, Josphat Boit, Philemon Kiplimo, Abel Kipchumba, Silas Sugut, Dominic Nyairo and Ronald Korir.
The former Rome Marathon winner still draws inspiration from former world marathon record holder Paul Tergat.
He said he picked his running skills from Tergat and 2008 Olympic marathon champion, the late Sammy Wanjiru.
The 31-year-old said he watches their clips online especially ahead of major races.
“I love their fighting spirit especially in the final stages of races. They produced unexpected victories. In most cases, I watch their clips to pick some tactical skills,” he said.
His memorable clip is that of Wanjiru battling Ethiopia’s Tsegaye Kabede at the 2010 Chicago Marathon.
“In that clip, Wanjiru was behind at 35km to 40km but he produced a powerful kick in the last two kilometres. It clearly shows that while competing in a marathon, you must have courage and stamina to run faster than expected,” he said.