Kenyan Chumo tasked with helping Kipchoge to London Marathon title

The pacemakers are a group of runners who meticulously plan the opening stages of races

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One of the keys to Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge defending his London Marathon title on October 4, will rely on the vital work done by pacemaker and compatriot Victor Chumo.

The pacemakers are a group of runners who meticulously plan the opening stages of races, and in the case of a marathon, they may be required to keep going for an hour or longer.

While much of the focus of the men’s race will be the battle between Kipchoge and Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, the pacemakers will do most of the early work in ensuring a quick time is achieved.

Kipchoge holds the men’s marathon world record at 2:01:39 – the time he set at the Berlin Marathon in 2018. Bekele, however, has a personal best time just two seconds slower than that – the 2:01:41 he ran last year at the Berlin Marathon.

Chumo told Kenyan publication nation.africa: “I’m privileged that I have been selected to pace for some of the best athletes in the world. It is a hard task given that the athletes will always depend on the pacemakers during the race but I’m ready for the task because it’s not my first time to help top athletes run fast times,” said Chumo.

Chumo was also part of the 41-strong pacemaker group which helped Kipchoge in the Ineos 1:59 challenge in May 2019, when he became the first man to break two hours for the marathon distance.

“Pacing Eliud in the Ineos 1:59 Challenge was one of the best experience in my athletics career and I will remember that day for the rest of my life.

“It was a great feeling, you know 30 years, 20, 10 years from now, when people will be talking about the history-making event in Vienna, I know I will be part of that history.”

In partnership with ANA and Sports Leo

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