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21st Vienna City Marathon: Moses Tanui wants to show he is still going strong

2004-05-15

When Carlos Lopes ran a marathon world best by winning the Rotterdam Marathon with a time of 2:07:12 back in 1985 the runner from Portugal was 38 years old. When Moses Tanui, one of Kenya’s greatest runners, will participate in tomorrow’s Vienna City Marathon he is 38 as well. Of course no one talks of a world record in Vienna. But Moses Tanui hopes to show that he is still going strong.

With a personal best of 2:06:16, which he clocked when he was second in Chicago in 1999, the champion of the Boston centenary marathon in 1996 has the fastest time in tomorrow’s event. It will be the third time in a row that Moses Tanui runs the Vienna City Marathon. In 2002 he won the event in 2:10:25. But a year ago he was unlucky, when tripping in a bend and falling awkwardly. “I badly twisted my ankle and my hip. The injury took five months to heal. When I was finally able to train properly in November I hoped to be able to run in Vienna again, because I don’t want to disappoint the people here”, Moses Tanui explained. “I trained well and covered up to 210 kilometres in a week. So I hope to be able to run a sub 2:10 time.”

Tanui has run a marathon in Seoul already two months ago, where he clocked 2:12:59. “But I did this as a sort of test. After such an injury you start running carefully. So I needed this race before Vienna to know if I might get problems in a marathon”, Moses Tanui explained.

Regarding Carlos Lopes’ time of 1985 Tanui says: “If it is possible for you to train well and to keep your strength years do not matter that much. You will then be able to run very well at an age between 38 and 40. And I believe that it is possible to run a good marathon at an age of 45.” Asked about Mexico’s Andres Espinosa, who smashed the world master record in last year’s Berlin Marathon becoming the first man to run sub 2:10 at the age of 40 (2:08:46), Moses Tanui says: “I know Andres well because I was in marathons at Boston and Chicago with him. His performance in Berlin was a motivation for me too.”

In general Moses Tanui thinks that it is good for the sport if well known athletes continue running for many years. “That motivates young runners, because they will realise that it is possible to have a long and successful career.” The Kenyan, who runs a Gym back at home in Eldoret and a small farm, said he does not know yet for how many years he will continue running at this level. “It is now 18 years ago when I started my career as an international athlete. First it is my aim to make it 20 years and then I will decide what to do.”


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