Chebet now plans to stamp authority in marathon races after New York feat
By all means Evans Chebet considers himself late entrant into athletics and marathon to be specific.
The Kapsabet-based athlete in a flashback reflects on events from four years ago when he had entered Boston marathon in 2018 but dropped out in torrential rain.
Fast-forward to April 2022, Chebet found the conditions much more to his liking stamping himself as a major marathoning force with a decisive victory in 2:06:51 in Boston, his first win in a major marathon.
Top of his head, he mentions victories in Buenos Aires in 2019 and Valencia in 2020 as some other memorable moments marathon running, events in the aftermath of dropping out of Boston marathon.
So when he won the New York Marathon on Sunday, Chebet shed tears of joy, at pain to explain how he has had to work extra hard to be taken seriously at almost every turn.
“Of course, not everyone follows the same path. Until recently or even now to be honest, my name doesn’t mean alot to many people. I have had to work really hard to be where I am, proving doubters wrong at every turn I make. I think there’s no shame in taking a delayed route to greatness,” said Chebet who became the first man to win both Boston and New York marathon in the same year since 2011.
Chebet just like any athlete could have loved to fly Kenyan flags at the world championship in Eugene, Oregon but was not considered in team Kenya, that performed dismally eventually. But sadly he feels not even the selectors at athletics Kenya know him that well, and he harbors no grudges.
“I am not a big name so I will not bulldoze myself to the team, but now I feel on merit I should be considered for the next year’s world championships and maybe the 2024 Paris Olympic Games,” he adds.
Even as he closes in on his 34th birthday next week, Chebet admits athletes only have a limited time frame before their bodies stop cooperating.
“Age notwithstanding, I am running the best races of my life, the best way I can and I am enjoying every bit of it. I will cherish the moments and keep proving everyone wrong,” Chebet told People Sport.
Kenyan athletes have won every major men’s marathon this season -- Eliud Kipchoge taking the honors in Tokyo and Berlin, Amos Kipruto winning in London and Benson Kipruto triumphing in Chicago.
So Chebet win ensured it is the first sweep of the majors since the world marathon circuit was expanded to six races in 2013 with the addition of Tokyo.
“I want to thank God for his favours, for making me who I am and for reading the way. I did envision myself being mentioned in the same sentence with greats who have won major marathons, but here we are are,” added Chebet who finished the New York race in 2:08:41, 13 seconds ahead of Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata, while the Netherlands’ Abdi Nageeye was more than a minute back in third.