Having ascended to the throne of ultimate distance running last September, world marathon record holder, Patrick Makau Musyoki’s purple patch continued when he welcomed twin sons to his family on January 31st.
This represented another major conquest for a man who continues to scale the heights in every facet of his life uninhibited.
“This is something which is great! Many people before thought that for someone running marathons it is very hard to get boys but I have been blessed with two, it is something great for me.
“It means I can produce more in the side of running and even on the other side of the family,” Makau offered with a wide triumphant grin, the kind that illuminated his face when he breast the tape in 2:03:38 to set the new world record.
Since blowing apart Haile ‘The Emperor’ Gebrsellasie and his previous benchmark of 2:03:59, Makau is now the biggest scalp in ultimate distance running among his peers who had tried for three years with fail to dethrone the diminutive Ethiopian.
The daggers have been already been drawn against his new standard as the cream of marathon running prepares for another riveting season with the added spice of an Olympics race in London.
And from Makau who recently welcomed a team of international journalists under the auspices of world governing body IAAF Day in Life (DIL) programme to witness his rigorous training regime, the message is simple- he is not going to let go without a fight!
“2011 was a very great year for me since I ran two big races, one, the London Marathon where I came position three that I was okay with it, I was satisfied since all I just needed the time.
“But since the year started all I was thinking was the world record, it was in my heart and in my mind and I kept focusing on Berlin and by the end of the year, I went there and tried my level best and managed to get the world record.”
The world record holder who turns 27 on March 2 has set his sights on making the Kenyan Olympics squad as well as making an impression at April’s London Marathon where he will face arguably one of the toughest fields ever assembled.
“London will be a tactical race since everyone knows it is an Olympics year and the team that was selected by the London Committee is the best one ever. It will mean a lot for someone to win and maybe, they will not perform at the Olympics.
“It will force one to do the calculations and be good in mind and for myself; I will not leave the London Marathon to interfere a lot with my mind. I know myself, I’m good, and I’m strong and I know that many people do not believe in me but if God gives me good health, I can do something great,” the record holder asserted.
Initially, Makau was promised an automatic Olympics berth on his victorious return from Berlin by Athletics Kenya before the federation later ruled to include him in a list of six who will vie for three final slots during the spring marathon season.
“I’m a kind of funny person, actually, I do not survive for Olympics, I survive on running very well especially for my country. If this was not an Olympics year, I would have still
“Olympics and other big races are part of competition, they are part of us and waiting for us to run in them. I will be happy to represent my country in the Olympics and if I never get the chance, I will focus on something else.”
And can he better his all time recognised best?
“My plan in future is to try to improve my time since I’m of young age and I know at this time, I can do something great and I will try all I can to add to my record.
“Winning Olympics gold or championships is also on my mind. Running championships is easy and I can bring a medal for Kenya,” the runner who won silver twice for his nation at the 2007 and 2008 World Half Marathon Championships outlined.
What sets Makau apart from most of his peers is he prefers to train without the services of a coach with his group of about 26 runners in the hilly terrain of Ngong in the outskirts of Nairobi.
“I understand my body very well, sometimes; a coach can come in the morning and tell you to do something that the body does not respond. Training with a coach is a kind of an advantage since I plan everything for myself my body tells me when it ready for speed work outs or long training,” he explained.
The 2010 Rotterdam and Berlin marathons titleholder says preparing for races in seclusion has played to enhance his reputation as an unpredictable competitor, a trait he has employed to chart his path to the top.
“Training is something secret to yourself and perhaps with your group mates and when you train well and you go to competition confidently, without promising someone of a record or anything, then it is possible to do something great,” the athlete who shuns the limelight added.
Makau’s rise from abject poverty- he grew in a family of eight siblings with scarce means- to the riches accrued from a rewarding career is well documented.
Just like Haile, he is shaping up to be a savvy entrepreneur with a real estate project in Nairobi currently under construction in the populous Kariobangi and Doonholm estates.
“I have two guys helping me manage the business side of things while my wife takes care of the family and the three children. My work is to focus on my running and managing the businesses and mentoring my training group,” Makau, whose interests extend to large scale farming and brick making among other enterprise said.
With that, Makau who has sat for more than two hours fielding questions departed to chart the next phase of his career. He had just returned from finishing second at his opening race of the season in Spain (Granollers) where he raced 62:40 over half marathon.
“I went there to test where I am and I was okay with the performance. It a good race that I could have won when he (Carles Castillejo) overtook me close to the finish line but I decided not to chase him, other great things are ahead.”
Makau’s habitual use of the word ‘great’ in the interview is another telling reflection of the immense desire he possesses to be the force in his sport.
-Filed under the auspices of the IAAF Day in Life Project