Shaping up for fresh challenge
For the last six weeks, Kenyan track star Hellen Obiri has intensified her training load from 180 kilometers to 200 kilometers weekly and now she averaging 210 kilometers of running per week, with her main focus being to win next month’s New York Marathon.
By preference, the double world 5000m champion would have loved her seven-year-old daughter, Tania to be with her in Boulder, Colorado, wistfully, that will not be the case, well atl east until January next year.
“There are visa issues and school which has to be factored in, in as much as I would have loved to have my family here, that will not be possible,” Obiri told People Sport in an exclusive interview at the weekend. She is not alone though, she has new teammates, pertinently, she is surrounded by a big and elite team from her new sponsors On Athletics Club (OAC), headed by led by former distance runner Dathan Ritzenhein.
Former two-time world marathon champion Edna Kiplagat who also resides in Boulder is arguably her biggest companion, the 42-year-old is someone Obiri regards as a close confidant.
“Training has been great. I am very excited about the NYC marathon. I mainly train with some men as the OAC track runners were on a break after the Track and Field season. Dathan sometimes runs with me or goes on the bike. I cherish some runs with my friend Edna,” Obiri told People Sport.
The longevity of the 2011 and 2013 IAAF World Champion in the marathon who has over the years established herself as an elite marathon runner with wins at the Los Angeles and New York City Marathons in 2010 is something Obiri want to emulate.
“You can’t get better advise than form the legend herself, training and being able to call her a friend is rejuvenating, “she adds.
Double world champion
Dathan speaks highly of his biggest asset, the double world champion on the track, Obiri. He clarifies that Boulder’s high-altitude, rolling trails and temperate climate make it an ideal location for distance runners. There, Obiri joined a relatively new team in OAC, which was launched by the Swiss sportswear brand On in 2020.
“Every day I show up and wonder how Hellen is going to amazing me that day! She is completely dialed for NYC. We’ve spent a lot of early morning out there and it’s been a great couple months of getting to know each other and trust in this new process,” he said.