Jack­son Limo eyes Beirut marathon win in his best time

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports -

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.”

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