Emmanuel Mutai: 'Winning the London Marathon is my career highlight so far'

Hi Emmanuel. What has been the biggest highlight of your career so far? Winning the London Marathon in 2011 [Emmanuel won the race in a course record time of 2hr 4min 40sec].

Do you remember your first ever race? It was a race at school, when I was about 16.

Did you win? Oh no. I was maybe top 10.

What made you want to become a runner? I wanted to get a scholarship to university in America. But then I didn't get it. It was hard studying and running, so I decided to focus on one thing, and I tried running.

Did you ever think you'd end up winning major marathons such as London? I had a vision to be a good athlete. It is good to have a vision, but you need to focus to be successful.

Where is your favourite place to run? The place where I train is best for me, near Kaptagat in Kenya. It is where I am used to, it has the forest and is high altitude, so I don't want to change anything.

What's your best piece of advice to other runners? You need to concentrate and have focus on what you want to do in your life. You have to start at the foundations.

What's your favourite running gadget? A watch is important.

Do you ever run to music? No, I have never tried.

Would you like to try it? I would love to. But we train in Kenya in a group, chatting and running together. Maybe if I was running alone I might.

What's your post-race indulgence? Just rest. And then I like to talk about the race with friends. If you get lots of comments you can start to learn about you weaknesses for the next race.

No cake? Chocolate? Beer? [Smiles] No, no.

What's the worst thing about running? When you don't feel good. Last year I had typhoid and the race in London was so difficult.

What do you eat the morning before a race? Tea, bread and honey.

What's the furthest you've ever run? In training we go to 40km. So a marathon is the furthest I've ever run.

And finally, who is the greatest runner ever? [Laughs] This is a bit complicated for me. Perhaps I would say Haile [Gebrselassie]. Since he started running, he has been a role model for us with all he has done.

Thanks to guardian.co.uk who have provided this article. View the original here.


comments powered by Disqus