Makau targets Fukuoka marathon
Nairobi, Nov 2 (IANS) For a long time, Kenya's former world marathon record holder Patrick Makau struggled with a knee injury, which limited his performances at the international marathons in the last season.
However, the 31-year-old is happy to have gone through rehabilitation and is certain the inflammation in his left knee is a thing of the past as he seeks to defend his Fukuoka marathon title on December 4 in Japan, reports Xinhua news agency.
"I am training well and really look forward to running in Fukuoka," Makau told Xinhua during an interview in Nairobi on Tuesday.
"I have every motivation and hope that it will be a good run for me. Injuries are part and parcel of an athlete and I always hope that I escape them, but when they catch up, you just have to listen to your body and take a long rest."
"I am happy they are over and am back in training and Fukuoka will be a good place to return and defend my crown."
Makau won in Berlin, twice, including his world-record run in 2011 where he ran 2:03:38. Last year, he retained his Fukuoka Marathon title in 2:08:18 and became the first man to get back-to-back wins.
Now he is on the cusp of writing a new chapter in history of the race, should he weather the storm and win on December 4, his third title in as many attempts.
"I do not look much at the record, because when it comes to the real running, the experience and records sometimes do not count and the health status of the body on the material day is crucial. I want to win the race though," he said.
This year, Makau will face sub-2:05 performers James Kwambai (2:04:27) and world silver medalist Yemane Tsegay of Ethiopia (2:04:48), Japanese Kazuhiro Maeda (2:08:00), Yuki Kawauchi (2:08:14) and Tomoya Adachi (2:09:59).
Other notable participants include past champions Joseph Gitau and Dmytro Baranovskyy while Tariku Bekele will attempt the full marathon distance again.
Alongside Fukuoka, Makau, a former world record holder, has won the Berlin Marathon twice as well as the Fukuoka, Frankfurt and Rotterdam Marathons. When asked what his best race was, Makau said: "A pivotal moment in my career was setting the world marathon record in Berlin in 2011.
That was a reward for hard work and focus. It was a blessing."
But he has another challenge to push his body to the limit and confirm his critics wrong that he still has a future in marathon running by winning Fukuoka. However, he said it is too early to start thinking of the World Marathon Championships in London next year.