Hilda Kibet has run marathons since 2007. She has not liked them since 2007, but that, is, as they say, another story.
‘My first marathon was so painful. I ran Amsterdam in 2007. I felt okay at 25 kilometers, but it was not good after that (laughter). I did not want to go home and tell everyone that I had not finished my first marathon, so I continued. I just keep on going, and I ran 2:32 in my first marathon. I waited a full two years to run another.”
Hilda Kibet is one of ten siblings. Four of her sisters run and so does one brother. Her sister, Sylvia Kibet, who won the 5,000 meters silver medal in the…she now has a brother and sister running at the University of Arizona.
Hilda began running as a child, ” 3k, back and forth in the morning, 3k, back and forth at lunch and 3k back and forth in the afternoon from school” was her running up until the age of 18. ” I did absolutely no spadework” noted Hilda with a smile. Her great aunt is six years her senior, Lorna Kiplagat.
Hilda Kibet gave herself the name Hilda at 13. ” In Kenya, we give ourselves a Christian name as we turn teenagers. Her birth name was Chepchumba. ” I liked Hilda” laughed Hilda Kibet.
Hilda Kibet represents the Netherlands. ” I ran the 10,000 meters, which was only my second race at that distance, in Beijing. It was tough (laughing once again), and I finished 15th.” Hilda married a marathoner from the Netherlands, and completed three years of college in her new home country from 2002 to 2005. She became a Dutch citizen in 2007.
“Lots of people run in the Netherlands. I love it there.” In the fall of 2008, Hilda won the SPAR European cross country championships for the Netherlands. Her long time husband is Hugo Van Den Broek, a marathoner. They split their time between Iten, Kenya and the Netherlands.
That Hilda Kibet is a strong athlete is an understatement. She has experience in cross country (she placed fifth in the World Cross Country in 2007) and still loves that part of the sport.
Her development in the marathon began in earnest in 2009, when she ran a 2:30 marathon-a two minute improvement at Amsterdam once again, finishing fourth. In 2010, Hilda visited Frankfurt and ran 2:26.23, a four minute personal best, and, as she said, ” I saw hope.”
In 2011, Hilda Kibet ran her personal best, 2:24.27 in Rotterdam.
” I have come back to Frankfurt because I ran a four minute personal best here. I love the course in Frankfurt! I like the finish, I like the crowds, it is very inspiring. ” noted a relaxed Kibet. “The atmosphere is nice, all the way to the finish on the red carpet. The 2:26.23 in Frankfurt ” is just good memories” for Hilda Kibet.
When asked what advice she would give to newbie marathoners, Hilda thinks for a moment, then opines, ” Follow your pace, drink water, keep the focus, because, for 25k , it feels good, then, about 35k (laughing), ah, enjoy the experience!”
In April 2013, Hilda ran a 2:25.52 in Rotterdam. She was not very motivated afterwards. ” I am healthy now, no injuries.” She recently ran a 16k (ten miler) in 52:45, so her fitness is coming along just fine.”
“I like warm weather” noted HIlda. Kibet is hoping for a good strong pack for 30 kilometers, then, she will move.
Will Hilda run her personal best in Frankfurt? This writer thinks that she can. We will all have to wait and see if Hilda Kibet can bring home a marathon placing for the Netherlands.