The Kenyan power-pack, 32, will curiously be making his debut at the event. With all attention trained on the contest billed as world record holder Wilson Kipsang versus Britain’s Mo Farah, the double Olympics and world champion over 5000m and 10,000m, Mutai will for once turn up for a race without huge expectations on his shoulders, though he has won the New York Marathon twice as well as Berlin and Boston once.
It his jaw-dropping 2011 Boston victory in 2:03:02 that sets Mutai above his contemporaries since that is the fastest any human being has ever raced over a 26.1 mile course although the event route fell short of world record consideration.
“To me, it’s a record, no matter what anyone says and it is my hope that one day, I will run a similar time in a legal course to prove to anyone who doubts it but it is not easy to achieve such a thing again,” Mutai said.
When he was informed of the field he will face in London, the 2012 Berlin winner drew a breath of air before terming the assignment, “very tough.”
After gathering his energies, the athlete who trains alongside last year’s Chicago marathon winner Dennis Kimetto and is a stable-mate of Kipsang at Volare Sports, promised to train as hard as he could to make an impression in London.
“I had a two-year agreement with them but I was injured last year and I felt bad to miss. This time, I’m praying that everything will go well and I will be in good shape to go there and show what I can do,” Mutai said.
“I was not expecting confirmation from London so soon but the men who have been put together will give the world an amazing race that I’m excited to be part of,” Mutai said from his Kapkitony training base.
For now, his focus is not on how fast he can run but on how quickly he can regain his form after piling on a few pounds during his recovery from his gruelling 2:08:24 victory in New York last November.
“The conditions there were very bad, too much wind and it was raining to storm levels, so when I returned home, I had to take a bit longer to recover because my chest was in pain,” he said.
“I have not yet cut down to my competition weight and that is what I intend to work hard for since I now know what lies ahead,” explains the athlete who launched his year by finishing second over 12km at the Kenya Police Cross Country Championships last weekend.
“I was not expecting to finish the position I finished because I came here to know where I stand. I have an idea of where my mistakes are and I will work on them,” Mutai said after being led to the altar by the 2011 World Cross junior champion, Geoffrey Kipsang Kamworor.
He intends to lay a marker at a yet to be confirmed half marathon in Europe before making his delayed London bow as he aims at adding another glorifying chapter in his impressive resume.
– By Kimathi Kamau