Justin Lagat spoke with Geoffrey Mutai, who holds the course records at Boston and NYC about the incredible race coming to Boston on Monday, April 17, 2023.
Of all the course records for the World Marathon Majors, Kenya’s Geoffrey Mutai holds two of them; the 2:03:02 for the Boston Marathon and the 2:05:06 for the New York City Marathon. On the other hand, his long-time training partner from Kapngetuny, Dennis Kimetto, holds the Chicago Marathon course record, while Eliud Kipchoge holds course records for the remaining three marathons.
While admitting that several factors contributed to the great memorable run on the streets of Boston in 2011 -which became the fastest marathon time in history-, Mutai gives credit to USA’s Ryan Hall for his course record of 2:03:02 that has stood for over twelve years now.
“Urged on by the home ground fans, Ryan Hall seemed determined to break away from the men’s elite field, and we kept following him. At times he would create a gap of almost 100m. We would fight hard to close the gap again several times.
“Besides the fast pace set by Hall, I also had a great competition from Moses Mosop, and the weather for that day was perfect for a good run,” Mutai said. Mosop would finish second in 2:03:06.
A successful cross-country season he had before the Boston Marathon prepared Mutai well for the undulating course.
“I had a great cross country season just before the Boston marathon, and it did build my endurance and speed,” Mutai, who had finished 5th at the 39th IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Punta Umbria less than a month to running Boston, said.
Mutai has already gone through the men’s elite start list with the world record holder and three other men running under 2:04:00 for the marathon. He thinks it is one of the best fields assembled for a marathon race. However, he believes that for a course record to be set, everything has to work well for the runners there and that the usually unpredictable weather in Boston will play a great role in the times that will be posted.
“Kipchoge, in particular, is a great runner. However, he is yet to prove he can run fast on a hard course. It will be an interesting race to watch on Monday,” said Mutai.
Is he coming back to run marathons again soon?
Mutai suffered a fracture in his training, which has not even allowed him to jog in the past few years.
“It is hard to tell whether your career has ended or the injury can heal and you get back into running again. That is why I haven’t announced my retirement yet. For now, I have a small group of young runners that I have brought together in a camp to guide and train them,” he said.
Hopefully, we shall see Mutai back on the roads soon, if not one of the runners he is beginning to coach.
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