What should we expect from Dennis Kimetto in Chicago?


On September 28, 2014, Dennis Kimetto, a relative new comer to the marathon (his debut was 2:04:16 at Berlin in 2012), became the first and only man, on a world record worthy course, to break two hours, three minutes, with his amazing 2:02:57.

Now, Dennis Kimetto is running Bank of America Chicago marathon. Dennis owns the course record of 2:03:45 here, set in near perfect conditions of a fall day in Chicago.

But, after those near perfect days, how does one get his or her mojo back?

That is the journey that Dennis Kimetto is set on finishing.

Kimetto-Mutai1-Berlin14.jpgDennis Kimetto, photo by PhotoRun.net

Dennis Kimetto put alot into his Berlin world record. His 59:14 half marathon (2012) and his 25k world record of 1:11:18 (2012) showed his raw talent.

Showing so much promise over the half marathon and 25k, Dennis Kimetto ran his first marathon in Berlin in September 2014, and he made his presence felt with finely articulated run over 26.2 miles, setting the debut marathon record. I remember thinking, this young farmer is amazing!

The 2:04:16 on September 30, 2012 showed a most extraordinary talent on the streets of Berlin. The tall, exceedingly thin runner followed Berlin up win a victory on February 24, 2013 at Tokyo with a fine 2:06:50. His first run in London was a DNF, that race on April 21, 2013 meant that he would not be named to the World Championships team. Kimetto came back and dominated the 2013 Bank of America Chicago marathon, setting the current Course record of 2:03:45.

His Boston marathon on April 2014 was another DNF. The crew at Letsrun.com called Kimetto a "boom or bust" runner. How prescient!

Yet, somehow, Dennis Kimetto drew on his inner marathon giant and destroyed the World record of Wilson Kipsang, with a 2:02:57 on September 28, 2014 at the BMW Berlin Marathon.

Dennis Kimetto set the world record! He visited his sponsor, adidas, headquarters in Germany as the shy young farmer, now runner, set the world afire.

But the sports world is a fickle admirer.

On April 26, 2015, David Bedford, elite coordinator of Virgin Money London dropped a field that was near perfect, not just in fast times, but in the ability to bring the best out in each other. Eliud Kipchoge, Wilson Kipsang and Dennis Kimetto. The battle came down to the final miles, with Kimetto being dropped at twenty two miles, to finish in 2:05:50, with Wilson Kipsang and Eliiud Kipchoge together until just before 25 miles. Those three men provided for marathon fans one of the finest races in all of our sport.

A digression here. David Bedford and London set the standard for marathon fields. Quite frankly, if you are not in London, at least in the era of David Bedford, London had not tried to bring you into the field. But like a fine wine, that needs to be nurtured, Bedford gets that putting together a strong field is all about the chemisty. In 2015, Bedford got it right, and the race was breath taking.

This writer believes that athletes only have so much world record dust in their bodies. Run your heart out, run the race like the artist you are and while that sense of speed and perfection look easy and may even feel that to the athlete, the mitochondria never forget. As marathoners, we forget the story of Icarus. Icarus made wings of wax and feathers and flew much too close to the sun, contrary to the warnings of his father Daedelus. Icarus's wings melted and he fell into the sea, where he drowned.

As runners, we want to see how fast we can go. Somedays we can run fast, some days those efforts are seemless, and we run faster than we believe possible, but it all comes at a price.

For the next two marathons, Beijing World Champs (dropped out at 30k) and Fukuoka , August and December 2015, Dennis Kimetto did not finish.

In April 2016, Dennis Kimetto finished 9th, in 2:11:44.

Kimetto did not get named to the Olympic marathon team, which saw as a slight.

Lots of comments have been made about Dennis Kimetto and his slide from marathon heaven. I keep it simple. Dennis Kimetto took too much out of his body and the body needs rest, training and focus. Dennis Kimetto is training well and hopes to get the course record on Sunday.

I am not sure that the record is in the cards, but Dennis Kimetto has climbed such heights before. And, never, kind reader, ever discount a World Record holder.

Dennis Kimetto has run 2:02:57, and he can do it again.

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