Those were the pearls of wisdom newly crowned London Marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge triumphantly brought back when he touched down on home soil Tuesday in the exalted company of his compatriots who proved the might of Kenyan distance runners in the British capital on Sunday.
Kipchoge, 30, who led two-time champion and titleholder, Wilson Kipsang and world record holder Dennis Kimetto to fill the podium on his London debut in a sparkling 2:04:42 is however, yet to decide whether he will go for a second world title in the summer in Beijing after winning the 5000m crown as a teenager at the 2003 edition in Paris.
For now, its party time with the ultimate distance champions set for a rousing reception at their home town in Eldoret.
“Running in 5000m helped me a lot in this race. I’m consulting my coach and management and see what’s next but for now I will relax and celebrate the victory that I have been dreaming for so long,” the beaming Kipchoge told reporters at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport upon arrival.
After four months of preparation, the Chicago Marathon champion reemphasised he was confident of winning the star studded race, despite the imposing challenge of the arguably, the toughest ever field drawn for a men’s marathon race.
He went on to disclose how he seized his chance to complete the glory after 38 kilometres of hard running, tactical positioning and reducing the contest to a duel between him and 2012 and 14 winner Kipsang as the other studs fell off one after the other.
“I knew Kipsang could not grab water at 40km and then I had to switch immediately and grab some then chase him immediately and see how he reacted. It was a fight towards the end but crossing the line was so special.
“I believe in good preparation and planning, so when I was going to London I believed I was the best competitor and at long last it has borne fruit. Having trained well, I had to increase the pace 200m towards finish line,” he narrated
“Ten years ago I was advised by my coach, when you are on the line you treat yourself as the best, I don’t need to Google or know what somebody else is doing. I’m happy to win London but I’m not saying I’m happy to upset the record holder and former record holder,” he added.
His coach, Patrick Sang, a retired two-time Worlds and 1992 Olympics steeplechase silver medallist, hinted Kipchoge could return to World Championships for the first time in eight years.
“Kipchoge has worked hard to be at the top and he ran against the best and his was a deserved victory. I saw him at the warm up area and I could see from his body language he was ready and not intimidated for the fight that wasn’t easy since nine of them had a time of 2:05.
“He has done a lot for this country and I think he still wants to do more and it will be prudent to go and see how best he will be if he gets the chance represent the country the way we witnessed in 2003 when he beat the giants like Kenenisa Bekele,” Sang told of the man he has mentored for almost a generation in the sport.