Strange to see Kenenisa Bekele still having issues in his marathons after such a long run of success on the track and cross country. After being widely recognized as the distance running G.O.A.T., you just expect each of his following steps to be equally agile and precise. But after eight marathon starts in four years, this GOAT seems to be butting his head against a particularly stubborn foe. To date he has only racked up two wins, one fewer than his total number of drop-outs.
The three time Olympic and five time World track champion has pledged that he will break the marathon world record before he retires, and said his DNF in Berlin September 24th had more to do with the cold and rain than with his preparation. And he was “dismayed” after his manager Jos Hermens suggested to Letsrun.com that Bekele spent too much time concentrating on his business interests rather than training.
Several years ago I wrote some verse – THE END OF MYTH – about the demise of the marathon as a truly scary distance for top tier athletes after Ethiopian track man Markos Geneti ran 2:06 to win his debut at the 2011 Los Angeles Marathon. But every once a while, and notably with someone like Bekele, the old lady can still bare her teeth and say, “Not so fast”. (more…)