Kiprotich for Fukuoka Marathon

Thursday November 2 2017

Kiprotich’s victory at the 2012 Olympics Marathon

Ugandan athlete Stephen Kiprotich 

By Darren Allan Kyeyune

KAMPALA. Often, Stephen Kiprotich has had his training sessions interrupted because of family problems.
Two months ago, the Ugandan marathoner stepped out of camp in Kaptagat, Kenya after he lost his mother on September 7.
The Nike-sponsored runner consequently missed his scheduled race at the Chicago Marathon in USA on October 8, one of the six World Marathon Majors (WMM).
“The idea was Chicago but the sudden passing of his mother meant we had to re-schedule,” reasoned Kiprotich’s manager Jurrie van der Velden of Global Sports Communication.
Kiprotich’s heart was further broken as the 28-year-old’s local manager Godfrey Nuwagaba, also Uganda Athletics Federation’s treasurer, passed away on October 17.
However, Kiprotich has got to hold his nerve. Daily Monitor has learnt that the 2012 Olympic marathon champion will run his second 42km race of the year at the Fukuoka Marathon in Japan on December 3.
“We choose Fukuoka to give him enough time to be ready,” said Jurrie. Fukuoka is an IAAF Gold Label marathon race established in 1947 and this year’s edition comes 47 days after Nuwagaba’s death.
“Fukuoka was a logical choice in the end as Stephen feels at home in Japan having run there several times with good results.” the Dutch man added.
True, in his six-year marathon career, Kiprotich has run in Japan thrice at the Tokyo Marathon, more than any other WMM. He came third at the 2012 edition before claiming Olympic gold, was second in 2015 and fourth a year later.
He has run in other WMM twice each at London and New York in 2013 and 2014.
At his first marathon outside his usual months of February, April, August and November, Kiprotich (pic below) will contend with Japanese-based Kenyan Bedan Karoki, Australian Collis Birmingham and New Zealand’s Jake Robertson in Fukuoka.