Jackson Limo eyes Beirut marathon win in his best time
Rejected by another autumn marathon, Jackson Limo turned up in Beirut a year ago determined to prove his detractors wrong. The Kenyan certainly did that and more, winning the IAAF Silver Label Road Race by nearly two minutes in a course record of 2:11:04.
The 28-year-old will return to defend his title on November 13 with hopes of running a faster time.
Limo’s personal best of 2:09:06 was recorded at the 2014 Paris Marathon. With five weeks remaining until the Beirut race, he has victory – and a personal best – on his mind.
“I want to win again and improve my time,” he says. “This means I would break the course record as well. I don’t think anyone has ever defended his title in Beirut, so let me be the first one. I liked the course. It seems my body adapts very easy to the conditions there.”
Indeed the temperature – a balmy 19C – at the 7am start time a year ago wasn’t ideal, although there was a breeze blowing in from the Mediterranean. He ran alone from 35 kilometres onwards and dominated the race all the way to the finish.
For the past few years he has belonged to an impressive training group based in Kaptagat and is coached by two-time world steeplechase silver medallist Patrick Sang. Led by Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge, they spend much time together in the training camp.
“I do still train with Eliud although his preparation was a bit different because of his Olympic marathon,” says Limo. “This time we have been training less together but I still train with greats like Emmanuel Mutai, Bernard Kipyego, Bernard Koech and Lucas Rotich.
“My training (for Beirut) is going well; I am peaking at the right moment it seems.”