MBALE- For the very first time since 2008, Moses Kipsiro will today start a local race as a rank outsider.
He can by no means call himself a favourite as he lines up for the National Half Marathon Championships in Mbale town.
“It’s the first time I am running a half marathon so I don’t know what to expect,” Kipsiro said after landing his sixth senior national cross-country title last Saturday.
“But I am sure I will do well. I have tried to train and hope my efforts will pay off.”
Since 2008, Kipsiro has suffered only two defeats on the local scene - fourth place finish in the 2010 Kampala marathon 10km race and second position over 1500m at the National Championships last year.
He has swept all the other races but today’s unfamiliar race presents a different challenge.
Competing against seasoned road racers, Kipsiro will hope he lasts the distance and earns a ticket to next month’s World Half Marathon Championships in Copenhagen.
“Competing at the World Championships is my main target this year. I intend to run two more half marathons in the year before I switch to full marathon in 2015,” noted Kipsiro.
‘While Kipsiro’s decision to quit the track will leave a big gap for Team Uganda, the runner is sure he has made the right move. At 28, the double Commonwealth champion reckons he may not be as competitive as he was on track four or so years ago. Marathon is now the only race in which he can favourably compete and push for an Olympic medal, the only piece of silverware missing in his cabinet.
For Kipsiro, the journey to the 2016 Olympics starts today. In the women’s 21km race, national marathon record holder Jane Suuto, has home ground advantage to bank on.