Kapchrowa, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Uganda’s greatest long-distance runner Joshua Cheptegei has begun preparations for his first marathon.
The three-time World Champion and duo World record holder is currently preparing in Kapchorwa under the guidance of his Dutch coach Addy Ruiter, ahead of the Marathon debut slated for December 3, in Valencia Spain.
Cheptegei who recently announced leaving the track to focus on the full marathon (42 kilometres), the longest distance in athletics, told Uganda Radio Network that his body has started adopting training schedules set by his coach and he hopes he will be in a better position to showcase his potential during the Valencia Marathon in December.
According to Cheptegei, his decision to shift to marathon came upon realizing that his body was becoming prone to injuries due to multiple speed sessions that are a must for great performance in track competitions.
“…I also need to end my career after running some marathon majors like the London Marathon, Boston, and Berlin among others,” Cheptegei said, adding that it is also the right time to give the upcoming talent an opportunity to explore and shine in the track arena.
Addy Ruiter, Cheptegei’s personal coach says this will be a great opportunity for Cheptegei to join teammates like Victor Kiplangat and Stephen Kissa who are excelling in the same distance. He is optimistic that Cheptegei will equally do well in the marathon just as he has done in track, thanks to his determination and focus.
MarathonWorld Champion Victor Kiplangat welcomed Cheptegei’s decision to join the marathon. “It is an inspiration to us and also the rest of the athletes who are pursuing the marathon career,” Kiplangat said.
Joshua Chemonges Kapkomu, one of Chepegei’s fans admired his decision for him shifting to the marathon following his successful track record. “This is the right time for him to follow the footsteps of the great Kenyan Marathoner Eliud Kipchoge,” Chemonges added.