Monday, 24 August 2015

My interview with Vivian Cheruiyot when she began her training for the Beijing WC

The 2011 Daegu double World Champion, Vivian Cheruiyot is also now the reigning world champion again, in the 10,000m, after a great run at the ongoing Beijing world championships.

During the 2013 Moscow World Championships, Vivian could not defend her two titles there, but, for her, the joy of expecting her first child outweighed the disappointment of having to miss the world championships. Below is extracts from an interview I had with her when she began her training last year in June.

"As an athlete whose body has gotten so used to running, one would definitely miss participating in competitions, especially when she watches other athletes run. But for me, I knew I was in an important stage of my life; that of expecting my baby. The prospect of having a child who will be watching me running and cheering me made me so happy. Now that I have a baby boy, I believe that I indeed took the best decision and step in my life," she said.

For now (June 2014), she is getting back on her training, still working mostly on long runs and doing it alone. She said that her body is, so far, responding very well, but that she will still need to go slow and ensure that she loses enough weight before beginning on the more intensive exercises.

Being one athlete who has achieved so much in the past, she is well aware that everyone will be keenly watching her come back. She will have to be in her best form when she gets back to competition and that is why she feels that she may need to take some few more months before competing again.

"I still do not have any plans of competing this year, but if my body picks up fast, I am not ruling out a possibility of participating in one of the last IAAF Diamond League races towards the end of the year. But, a higher possibility is that I will begin racing again in one of the IAAF cross country circuits probably in December," she said.

She believes that cross country running is the best build-up to track running and if she will be part of the Kenyan team to the world cross country championships in China early next year, she will be excited to try her luck there and go for another world cross country title.

In 2011, Cheruiyot won the senior women world cross country title before going ahead to win both the 5000m and 10,000m gold medals at the world championships later in the year. She however doesn't feel that it is already time to tell if she will be going to try the same feat at the world championships next year. That decision will be made some few months to the championships depending on her preceding performances and how her body will be feeling.

Thoughts of going for a world record "someday" in the 5000m event have  also crossed her mind at times and she says that if all goes well, she will consider trying it in the near future. But, first things first; she is now focusing on getting back to competition after the long leave.
She hopes to move up to the marathon one day.

"For now though, I feel that I still have enough speed to do well and achieve some more on the track. I want to run as much as I can on the track before finally moving to the marathon, because I know that once I move there, it will become harder to continue running well on the track again," she explained.

Something that will still hold her for a little while on the track is a title she narrowly missed in London and now yearns to get it in 2016.

"I missed a gold medal at the Olympic Games in London in 2012 and it is my hope that I will not retire before I win an Olympic gold medal. I have won gold medals in other big events and the only one I will need to go for now is the Olympic gold. I am hoping that 2016 will be my time," she said.