NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 16 – Despite the postponement of the World Half Marathon Championship due to the coronavirus pandemic, reigning champion Geoffrey Kamworor says his quest for a record fourth consecutive title is only delayed but not denied.
Kamworor won his maiden title in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2014 and then followed it up with successive victories in Cardiff (2016) and Valencia (2018).
His next hunting ground was Gdynia, Poland and he would have tried to boss the course for the race which was initially set for March 29 but World Athletics moved the race to October 17 due to the deadly coronavirus.
“Of course I was naturally disappointed that I could not go and try my hand at history but at the same time, some things are beyond our control. It was not anybody’s fault and this is something that is affecting the whole world not just sports,” Kamworor told Capital Sport from his base in Eldoret.
He added; “That desire still burns inside and I still want to go and win my fourth title. I believe I am in good shape this year and I will give it my best in September.”
Kamworor’s big plans this year were pegged on the World Half as well as the Tokyo Olympics, where he was to compete in the Marathon alongside his celebrity training partner defending champion Eliud Kipchoge.
With the lockdowns occasioned by the virus and the subsequent closure of training camps, the 27-year old has been forced to adjust to training in isolation at his Eldoret home.
“It has been tough definitely because when you are used to training together then suddenly you are not allowed to, it’s a bit hard. But it’s the situation we all find ourselves in and we must adjust accordingly. That’s the nature of life and sports,” he noted.
His training regime has included doing long runs in the morning then doing cardio and lifting body weight indoors to remain in shape.
“It requires a lot of discipline because there is no one pushing you. You have to do it all but yourself. We just encourage each other through calls on video and audio with the other teammates to ensure we keep the focus. Coach Patrick (Sang) also checks in regularly to ensure we are okay,” he stated.
While looking out for his fitness, the period has also ensured Kamworor builds the bond with his family as he is spending more time at home than his camp in Kaptagat.
“I tend to my farm as well at times because the rains are also here. This time is also good for family because we play together with the kids around the house just to keep the happiness there and it is very satisfying,” he noted.
He also adds that he has learnt a lot at this time, biggest of it all being about discipline and the fact that there is life outside sports.
“Sometimes you have to be prepared in all aspects of life. Also, don’t be over reliant on one thing. There is life beyond sports and you sometimes have to put some interest in other things. This period has also taught me that sometimes, you have to be reliant on yourself,” the two-time New York Marathon champion stated.