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AIMING FOR TOP FINISH: Patrick Makau departs for Boston, faces another marathon test

WEIRD NEWS
By Chris Musumba | April 16th 2015
Patrick Makau from Kenya celebrates as he wins the Frankfurt Marathon race in Frankfurt, central Germany, Sunday Oct. 28, 2012. Patrick Makau won the Frankfurt marathon in cold and sunny conditions but failed to break his world record on Sunday.

Former World Marathon Record holder Patrick Makau will face his biggest challenge so far, when he lines up on Monday along the Boston Marathon streets.

Despite leading the elite field owing to his fast 2:03.38 personal best time, Makau is uncertain if his body will endure the quick course through Boston streets, as he debuts in the USA soil over the 42km distance on Monday.

“My training has gone on well in Ngong. I hope my legs will carry on well and enable me to have a good race. Finishing top is my priority, but I want to run fast. Who knows, maybe one day I will run another world record.

“For now, that is not my interest. All I want to do is win the race,” said Makau, on Tuesday night, as he jetted out for Boston.

Indeed, Makau’s career looked stuck on the rocks for the better part of 2013 and 2014 with injuries —a tendon and knee injuries - which he picked up in training, curbing his progress —but had a successful return in Fukuoka late last year, where he won in 2:08:22, his first since finishing outside the top 10 position in the 2013 London marathon race.

That performance aggravated his knee injury and little did he know that it could keep him out of action for over a year.

“I doubted my ability to return to action. I had a mental challenge and it is good that I won that part of the battle,” he said.

He returned to action at Fukuoka Marathon on December 7 and won in a time of 2:08:22, which is almost five minutes slower than his world record of 2:03.38, which he set in Berlin in 2011. The performance inspired him to start imagining how fast he can run.

“The war for the seeding and reclaiming my lost glory has just begun and Boston will be the place to confirm my progress report,” he said.

Having twice claimed silver at the World Half Marathon Championships, in Udine and Rio de Jenairo, Makau is not shy to throw his hat in the ring for the World Championships in Beijing come August. But that is squarely dependent on his performance in Boston and of course, the final decision by Athletics Kenya.

“I will relish the chance to run in Beijing. But that is only what I see. The decision to compete at the World Championships is not mine,” he added. “After Boston, I will sit down with my management and discuss what is best for me. I leave the rest to the selectors.”

On Monday in Boston, Makau will join Meb Keflezighi, Lelisa Desisa, Wesley Korir, Sharon Cherop and Caroline Kilel in his quest for the honours.

The chase for the 2015 men’s title will be aggressive, with seven men in the field boasting personal best marathon times under 2:05:30 and 10 men with times under 2:06:30. Lelisa Desisa, the 2013 Boston Marathon champion and World Championships Marathon silver medalist, will challenge for the win as will Abel Kiruithe two-time World marathon champion.

Tadese Tola, the World marathon bronze medallist, is also in the field, as is veteran Yemane Tsegay (Ethiopia), who has won eight global marathons. Not to be forgotten is Meb Keflezighi.

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