Emmanuel Mutai won the 2011 Virgin London Marathon with a 14:16 5k between 30k and 35k, and won in 2:04:40. In 2013, Mutai took second in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon to Dennis Kimetto. Mutai has the distinction of the fastest non-winning time ever on a record eligible course: 2:03:52.
Emmanuel Mutai, February 2012, Kenya, photo by PhotoRun.net
At the Men's elite press conference on Wednesday, April 9, Geoffrey Mutai, Stephen Kiprotich and Emmanuel Mutai were on the stage at the same time. All gracious and thoughtful, but, I was fascinated with Emmanuel Mutai, the 2011 Virgin London champion.
Mutai is, as many know, the 2011 London marathon champion. Last fall, Emmanuel Mutai, took second in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, in his pb of 2:03:52. This was his second second place of 2013, as he had taken second in Virgin London in April 2013.
Emmanuel Mutai made a point today in the press conference. He was asked how he felt about the First Lady of Kenya running the London Marathon on Sunday, who has made a big story in Kenya(http://www.runblogrun.com/2014/04/kenyas-first-lady-says-she-must-finish-london-marathon-by-justin-lagat.html). While respectful of Mary Kenyatta, the First Lady of Kenya, running the 2014 London Marathon, Emmanuel wanted the media to know that there is a difference between the First Lady and professional runners.
"For me, the First Lady is doing (the marathon) for charity work. For us, since we are being invited, our focus is to run good at London. We focus on preparation, to run well on Sunday." noted Mutai.
Emmanuel Mutai trains with Stephen Kiprotich, the 2012 Olympic champion from Uganda. Mutai and Kiprotich respect each other. Neither would say who was better: that would insult a training partner. When asked by a reporter, and not sure why the reporter was asking such an indelicate question, Mutai wanted the reporter to understand the relationship between training partners.
In response, Emmanuel Mutai answered the curious question as well as he could: " We train three times a week. But, in competition, it will be fairly tough, and we both have to be ready."
Emmanuel Mutai is well spoken. But, Mutai is a man who would rather let his feet do the talking. Performances, and Mr. Mutai has many, are the real way we judge a performer in athletics.
What will those feet say on Sunday?
You will just have to wait until this coming Sunday to see what the feet of Emmanuel Mutai will have to say.