If you were looking for an exciting 2016 London Marathon, you were in luck. On a day that saw the fastest five male wheelchair athletes crossed the line in the space of 5 seconds, at least four British marathon runners qualified for the Rio Olympic games 2016, three elite women fell during the race with one going on to win the race with cuts to her head and shoulder, and Eliud Kipchoge ran the fastest London Marathon ever, the theatre of the event did not disappoint.
Today, we caught up with the 2016 elite champions; Eliud Kipchoge and Jemima Sumgong.
Jemima was asked about her fall which happened very close to the end of the race which resulted in her hitting her head on the ground. Jemima says that when she fell down, she knew that the challenge would push her further to win the race, adding “when you get challenges, you will get success” She admits that she was in a lot of pain until the adrenaline kicked in about 500m after she fell.
Kipchoge’s first question is about his incredibly calm demeanour. Eliud says his calmness comes from the fact he believes in himself and from good training. He says
If I am fit then there is no hurry, so I can be calm. In Kenya we are all very calm.
The champions tell us that in their training camps, they all share the cleaning and the cooking and take turns to do this. Eliud says “We need to set examples for the young ones that we have to be responsible for ourselves and to show respect“.
Both Eliud and Jemima say their immediate priority is to spend some time with family and children before heading back into training. Eliud tells us that half of the population of Kenya was watching his incredible victory and that he had 1200 WhatsApp messages and 300 Facebook notifications when he was able to check his phone after breaking the course record.
Jemima is asked whether it is deliberate that she tends not to sit in the limelight. She admits that it is and that if eyes are not all on you, then you can concentrate more on the race.
The conversation turns to sportsmanship, which is the reason Eliud tells us he shared his water with Stanley Biwott during the race. He adds that he never complains about the weather conditions of a race because the same conditions will affect all the runners.
The final question is around the London Marathon crowd, there tens of thousands of people line the streets to cheer on the runners. Eliud says the London Marathon crowds are the rest in the world and that he misses them when he goes through the tunnel at Embankment.