Obiri arrives in New York, ready for ‘the biggest race of her life’
“Things can happen metabolically after 35K that you just can’t know until you’re in the race”, were the words of Hellen Obiri when she arrived in New York few days ago for the biggest race of her life.
Her focus, however, is better than ever, she wants to tear up the roads of New York on Sunday. Starting on Staten Island, the challenging course will undulate through New York’s five boroughs before finishing down Fifth Avenue and into Central Park.
“I couldn’t have had it any other way, I have had the time of my life In Colorado where I have been training for a while now. We have tried different approaches with my coach and training mates, I know I am ready,” she disclosed.
Not many athletes get an opportunity to have a World Major Marathon race to make a debut , and well just maybe the two-time World Champion is not your ordinary athlete.
“Why not New York?” was her clear but precise answer when asked why she settled on her debut marathon race.
“You have to give your best at every opportunity, that is just me,” she said in anticipation of the Marathon, which is celebrating its 52nd anniversary, is one of the largest in the world.
Kenyan athletes have dominated the event over the past decade with eight winners in the women’s race since 2010, her coach former distance runner Dathan Ritzenhein who heads the On Athletics Club (OAC) is exited about the hugely awaited debut.
“She is an all-time talent. An amazing, amazing runner. We knew that from her results, obviously. It kind of started with the fact we knew she wanted to move to Boulder. She was friends with Edna Kiplagat and she had the desire to do that already,” he shares
Obiri’s move to Boulder has been in the works since she signed with the Swiss sportswear company in January with the intention of focusing on the roads.
“I worked closely with her agent and former coach Ricky Simms to make the transition as smooth as possible following her 67:05 victory at The Great North Run in September. I couldn’t have imagined a better training before a marathon debut, “ her coach revealed.
On her part, Obiri says she is fortunate that she has over the years had a lot of really good moments – probably way more good moments than bad.
“ That’s not always the case. The hardest part for me is dealing with those rare disappointments. Because whenever you have these great moments, you’re celebrating all the hard work that was put in before, so you get a chance to showcase that. But if something goes wrong, that’s really when it’s it’s tough for me,” she says.
Ritzenhein is not counting his chicken just yet,he is standing to his conviction though.
“It’s funny because I’ve told some people around town, some of the sessions that she’s done and they’re like, ‘It’s not believable.’ So I said, “Okay, well, we’ll find out in New York,” he says in conclusion.