NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 20 – Olympic 5000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot hopes she can emulate two-time London marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge as she prepares to fully launch her career in road racing in April when she makes her debut at the London marathon.
After enjoying a successful 17-year spell racing on track, Cheruiyot who was on Thursday night named Kenya’s Sports Personality of the Year, hopes she can translate the same form to the road.
“I am so excited because it (London) will be my first marathon ever and I am going to race against the champions. I want to be like Eliud (Kipchoge) because since he started marathon he has been doing well and I hope I will do my best as well,” the 33-year old said.
Kipchoge has enjoyed much more success racing on the road than during his years on track.
He has had big wins including his debut in Hamburg, two London marathon titles, Rotterdam, Chicago, Berlin and crowned it all by winning the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil last year.
Cheruiyot made her road running debut during the Great North Run in the United Kingdom last September, winning the race on her birthday ahead of experienced road racers like Priscah Jeptoo.
Speaking to Capital Sport, the mother of one son hopes her success in her half marathon debut will carry some degree of luck when she debuts in London.
“It was a sign that I can make it in Marathon and maybe I will do another half marathon before London to see how much ready I am. I hope that everything will be okay and I will be able to do my first marathon well despite of course being a bit nervous,” she underlined.
In London, Cheruiyot, nicknamed the ‘pocket rocket’ will come up against holder Jemimah Sumgong who is also the Olympic champion, two-time London and three-time New York marathon champion Mary Keitany as well as her immediate former rival on track Tirunesh Dibaba.
“I am not afraid of anybody. This will be my debut and so I will not go to London looking at battling anyone in the field. I want to go, run my race and hope to do my best,” Cheruiyot added.
She also hopes to keep her body in shape for a posible shot at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan which will fall on her 37th birthday.
“If God gives me life and strength, why not? I will go for it. It is a great challenge which anybody would relish,” the soft spoken Olympic champion declared.