The LA Marathon happens 8 March 2020. 25,000 runners and walkers will run the 35th version of the LA Marathon. Skecher’s Weldon Kirui won in 2016 and 2018. Both Kirui and 2019 winner Elisha Barno are competing in LA on Sunday. Thanks to Taylor Olson Cooney of Skechers PR for this interview. Skechers’ sponsorship of LAM ended in 2019, ASICS America has returned as the presenting sponsor.
Weldon Kirui Los Angeles Marathon Q&A
Ahead of Sunday’s LA Marathon, passing along a quick Q&A with Weldon Kirui as he goes for the record third win on the course. In the attached Q&A, Weldon addresses what it would mean for him to win this year, his training heading into the race, and more
Q. You and Elisha Barno have now both won the Los Angeles Marathon twice and will be attempting a record third win on the course. What would it mean for you to win again this year?
Weldon Kirui: I’ve been training hard in Kenya for three months. To win a third time would feel really good and it will make my family and community at home proud.
Q. What is your motivation to be the first to reach three first-place wins in LA?
Weldon Kirui: In high school Eliud Kipchoge inspired me to want to be a champion runner. We are from the same area and seeing what he accomplished made me push myself harder. The support of my family, the people of Los Angeles and my community motivates me. I run with the kids in Kenya in the fields. I love to train with the kids in schools. I want them to be champions like me someday.
Q. You won the Los Angeles marathon in 2016 and 2018. What helped you secure the win during those races?
Weldon Kirui: Training hard in my Skechers helped me to win. They are very light and comfortable and that helped in training and during the races. Especially in 2016 – Skechers helped me after I lost my gear.
Q. The story on how you became a joined the Skechers’ elite ambassador roster is interesting. Can you share?
Weldon Kirui: I lost my shoes in Amsterdam on the way to the marathon and Skechers offered to provide me with gear in LA. The shoes felt great and I won in them. I really liked the product and joined Skechers then.
Q. What does the Los Angeles Marathon mean to you? Why is this iconic course your favorite?
Weldon Kirui: I like the people of Los Angeles cheering me on along the route. The people are kind and supportive of me while running, before, and after. People recognize me from past wins and are excited to see me, so I like to come back every year.
Q. What is your training routine like leading up to the marathon?
Weldon Kirui: I trained for three months in the Keiyo District of Kenya in my new Skechers GOrun Ride 8 Hyper. They are very comfortable. I run with a group of 15. It’s been a good build up to the race and my legs are feeling good.
Q. What are your typical pre-race rituals?
Weldon Kirui: Before every race I eat chicken, rice and salad. Foods I am used to. I only like orange powdered Gatorade for fluids on the course.
Q. How do you reward yourself after a race?
Weldon Kirui: With pizza. I love American pizza but only after the race. We go to Bottega Louie near the hotel every year. I like watching them make the pizza and then eating it. People at the restaurant recognize me and want to take pictures. We have a good time win or not.
Q. Skechers offers a variety of training and racing styles. How do the different GOrun styles help you train and compete? (i.e. cushion for training, light and fast for race day)
Weldon Kirui: I train in Skechers GOrun Ride 8 Hyper. The thicker cushioning is comfortable and keeps my legs feeling good mile after mile. For races, I wear Skechers GOrun Speed Elite Hyper. I like that they are lightweight.
Q. You’ll be racing in the new Skechers GOrun Speed Elite Hyper on the big day. What is it you like about this style for race day? How does the unique patent-pending infused carbon fiber polymer winglet plate help your performance?
Weldon Kirui: I feel fast in Skechers Speed Elite. It’s lightweight and cushioned. The shoe feels springy and my stride feels smooth in them. The faster I run, the better they feel.
Q. What is your number one tip for runners looking to follow your winning footsteps?
Weldon Kirui: Keep working hard and be disciplined. Follow your heart.
Q. What do you love most about training in Skechers Performance product?
Weldon Kirui: I like Skechers because the shoes are both comfortable and lightweight. I don’t have to think about the shoes or my feet, I can just run.