Shortly after winning the real,- BERLIN-MARATHON in 2:07:41, we spoke with the 2005 champion, Philip Manyim of Kenya.
Were you surprised at your win because this was only your third marathon. So you’ve been a quick learner?
“Yes, the success was surprising because I was not expecting to win
against my fellow Kenyans who had run 2:06. But, God willing, I won the
race, by surprise.”
You attacked at that moment in the
marathon when so many people attack, at around 30 k. It was a hot day
so you had to have a lot of courage and faith in your ability to attack?
“I changed my training in Kenya from early in the morning to around 9,
so I was not worried but the problem is that when you are at low
altitude the air is too warm to breathe, so that was a problem.”
Hot weather is not necessarily easy for the Kenyans to cope with?
“It is very hard for the Kenyans to cope with training at high
temperatures because we train early and in the hills where it’s very
cool. If you have a problem with temperature, the Kenyans also have a
You began your international career as a
steeplechaser and, indeed, you’ve paced world records in the
steeplechase (ed note : Manyim was a pacemaker when the Moroccan Brahim
Boulami broke the world record in Zurich in 2001). What made you change
to the marathon?
Philip Manyim: “I have an Italian
coach, Renato Canova and he told me, when you jump the barriers, the
impact is the same as running on the road. He told me, one day, I hope
you will run a better time on the road because you have jumped a lot
over the barriers. That was my ambition, I tried and was successful.”
Renato Canova coaches a lot of very good Kenyan athletes. How do you rate him as a coach?
Philip Manyim: “I thank him and hope God may help him
to assist the Kenyans who are willing to stay with him because he’s a
very good coach and he also has experience because he was a coach in
Italy before coming to Kenya.” (Canova coaches among others the former
Kenyan Stephen Cherono now running for Qatar as Saif Saaeed Shaheen,
who won the world steeplechase gold in 2003 and retained the title in
Helsinki in 2005).
We all know that Berlin is a very fast
marathon course and you’ve equalled the third best time in the world
this year with that 2:07:41. How much faster do you think you can run?
Philip Manyim: “If I’m in good condition with good preparation, I hope to run if not 2:05, I can run below 2:06:30.”
are your plans now? In Kenya you have a wife and two children and
you’re taking back a nice lot of prize money. What are your plans for
life in general?
Philip Manyim: “My plan now is go
home and have a party in December with my family to celebrate our
wedding anniversary. After that I shall start training because when you
start spending money, you forget your career. So the money will be put
aside and I’ll continue with my career and hope to achieve a better
Do you really think of yourself as a marathon runner now?
“Yes, because of the capability of running 2:18 after a short period
(of preparation), 2:08 after another short period of three months, then
2:07:41, which means another marathon can make me run, maybe, 2:07 or
below 2:07:30, maybe the next one, because I’m getting experienced,