Though the indoor winter track season is in full swing on both sides of the pond, the spring marathon majors in Boston and London have already begun to loom on the horizon. Even with the monster storm tracking toward New England and scheduled to dump as much as two feet of snow on the area tomorrow through Saturday, the mud and scuttling clouds of April – conditions well recognized in both Boston and London - still beckon off in the soon-to-be whited out distance.
While training for the marathons continues in deep sequestration at camps across the American west and along East Africa’s Great Rift Valley, we can begin to see the training sweats being stripped off as schedules get set for the tune up races heralding marathon season. Yesterday, the RAK Half-Marathon field was released. Headed by 2010 champion Geoffrey Mutai, the marathon list leader in both 2011 & 2012, the RAK Half has swiftly become the world’s deepest and fastest half marathon. Its list of champions is a true who’s who of this running generation, and features several Virgin London Marathon contenders going head up on February 15th.
Yet one man who will not be in the UAE next weekend is the 2008-2009 RAK Half champion and course record holder Patrick Makau of Kenya (58:52), who is also the marathon world record holder. Makau will instead tune up for the London Marathon one month from now thousands of miles away on the island of Oahu at the Hapalua Half Marathon, the second-year sister event of the Honolulu Marathon.
With men like 2011 Boston & New York, and 2012 Berlin champ Geoffrey Mutai, 2011 London winner Emmanuel (not related) Mutai, and 2012 Chicago runner-up Feyisa Lelisa of Ethiopia matching up in the UAE before going double the distance in London April 21st, it may seem an odd selection for Makau to go solo at a low-key race in Hawaii. But according to Makau’s manager Zane Branson, Makau is more than comfortable with his choice. Continue reading