22nd Berliner Wasserbetriebe 5 x 5 km TEAM-Relay from 7 until 9 June 2023

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Philip Manyim: „I did not expect beating my fellow Kenyans”


Philip Manyim
© Victah Sailer

Shortly after winning the real,- BERLIN-MARATHON in 2:07:41, we spoke with the 2005 champion, Philip Manyim of Kenya.

Were you surprised at your win because this was only your third marathon. So you’ve been a quick learner?

Philip Manyim: “Yes, the success was surprising because I was not expecting to win against my fellow Kenyans who had run 2:06. But, God willing, I won the race, by surprise.”

You attacked at that moment in the marathon when so many people attack, at around 30 k. It was a hot day so you had to have a lot of courage and faith in your ability to attack?

Philip Manyim: “I changed my training in Kenya from early in the morning to around 9, so I was not worried but the problem is that when you are at low altitude the air is too warm to breathe, so that was a problem.”

Hot weather is not necessarily easy for the Kenyans to cope with?

Philip Manyim: “It is very hard for the Kenyans to cope with training at high temperatures because we train early and in the hills where it’s very cool. If you have a problem with temperature, the Kenyans also have a problem.”

You began your international career as a steeplechaser and, indeed, you’ve paced world records in the steeplechase (ed note : Manyim was a pacemaker when the Moroccan Brahim Boulami broke the world record in Zurich in 2001). What made you change to the marathon?

Philip Manyim: “I have an Italian coach, Renato Canova and he told me, when you jump the barriers, the impact is the same as running on the road. He told me, one day, I hope you will run a better time on the road because you have jumped a lot over the barriers. That was my ambition, I tried and was successful.”

Renato Canova coaches a lot of very good Kenyan athletes. How do you rate him as a coach?

Philip Manyim: “I thank him and hope God may help him to assist the Kenyans who are willing to stay with him because he’s a very good coach and he also has experience because he was a coach in Italy before coming to Kenya.” (Canova coaches among others the former Kenyan Stephen Cherono now running for Qatar as Saif Saaeed Shaheen, who won the world steeplechase gold in 2003 and retained the title in Helsinki in 2005).

We all know that Berlin is a very fast marathon course and you’ve equalled the third best time in the world this year with that 2:07:41. How much faster do you think you can run?

Philip Manyim: “If I’m in good condition with good preparation, I hope to run if not 2:05, I can run below 2:06:30.”

What are your plans now? In Kenya you have a wife and two children and you’re taking back a nice lot of prize money. What are your plans for life in general?

Philip Manyim: “My plan now is go home and have a party in December with my family to celebrate our wedding anniversary. After that I shall start training because when you start spending money, you forget your career. So the money will be put aside and I’ll continue with my career and hope to achieve a better goal.”

Do you really think of yourself as a marathon runner now?

Philip Manyim: “Yes, because of the capability of running 2:18 after a short period (of preparation), 2:08 after another short period of three months, then 2:07:41, which means another marathon can make me run, maybe, 2:07 or below 2:07:30, maybe the next one, because I’m getting experienced, maybe 2:06.”

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