Vincent Kipruto intends to break the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon course record

May 17 Addendum: Vincent Kipruto has withdrawn from the event.

Kenya’s Vincent Kipruto has competed in many races around the world in his career as an elite distance runner, but has never been to Canada.

“The closest I have been to Canada is when I went to run the Chicago Marathon in 2009 where I finished third. It will be interesting to visit a new country, and run in a different environment. My training has been going on very well, so far, in my preparations to run the Ottawa Marathon,” said Kipruto.

Kipruto’s personal best marathon time is 2:05:13. Like every other hard working runner, he is ambitious to beat it. Could he do that in Ottawa in May? He says it depends on the conditions.

“I have never run in Canada before, so I don’t know how my body will react to the weather there. But, if everything will work well for me and I get good pace makers and a perfect weather, then I can be able to try and lower the Canadian all-comers record time of 2:06:54, which is also the course record of the Ottawa Marathon,” he said.

Kipruto trains in Kapkitony, a place on the high altitudes of the Rift Valley region in Kenya, about 40 km east of the city of Eldoret. He trains with a group of about 50 athletes under his long-time coach William Kiplagat. Kiplagat has been his coach since 2007 when he began competing professionally on the international stage.

Kipruto’s favorite moments in his running career include his 2011 silver medal win at the Daegu world championships in South Korea, finishing behind his compatriot Abel Kirui. Another highlight is his first-ever marathon win – an impressive time of 2:05:47 at the 2009 Paris Marathon.

Kipruto doesn’t remember when he started running, but he was very young.

“As far as my memory can reach back into my childhood, I remember I used to like running very much. I used to like competing with other kids in primary school and whenever we met while looking after cattle in the village,” Kipruto said.

He has followed athletics events with great interest and remembers watching with enthusiasm the Sydney 2000 Olympics on TV in his village.

“I also used to admire the professional athletes who would at times run near to my home during their training. William Kiplagat (winner of the 2003 Rotterdam Marathon and the 2005 Seoul Marathon) is my neighbor and I would at times meet him training alone when he was not in the training camp with the other athletes,” said Kipruto.

William Kiplagat encouraged Kipruto to join him in his training after he finished high school. He became his coach and mentor, and before long Kipruto began his professional career after winning a number of road races in the Netherlands in 2007. More victories followed on the international scene, with podium finishes in the Paris, Rotterdam, Chicago, Reims and Frankfurt marathons, and a second place finish at the World Championships.

Fresh off his win at the Xiamen International Marathon in China in January, Kipruto is among the favourites to win the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon on May 29.