Series27 Oct 2014

Work, rest and play – Wilson Kipsang


Wilson Kipsang (© Giancarlo Colombo)

Former marathon world record holder Wilson Kipsang will be competing in the TCS New York City Marathon this Sunday (2).

Kipsang, who set a world record of 2:03:23 in the 2013 Berlin Marathon only to see his compatriot Dennis Kimetto beat it a few weeks ago in this year’s race in the German capital, is familiar with the roads in the Big Apple and has won the NYC Half in the past but he will be running in the city’s famous marathon for the first time.

Here the 32-year-old Kenyan offers a window into his world by answering our work, rest and play questions.

Wilson at work

What is your favourite training session?

Wilson Kipsang: I love the easy runs the most, because I can really enjoy the running.

What is your least favourite training session?

WK: Speed work is the hardest training for me.

What are your three favourite things about being an athlete?

WK: Firstly, I have the flexibility to do what I like daily. Secondly, my running allows me to give my family a good life and thirdly, I love the travel and meeting many different people.

Who is your favourite training partner?

WK: Geoffrey Mutai (two-time winner of the New York City Marathon). He is such a nice personality and such a good athlete. We share many things and make each other better people and athletes.

Where is your all-time favourite training venue?

WK: The Iten area (in Kenya) is the best for me. I know all the routes and I've trained there for many years.

Wilson at rest

Where is your favourite place to relax?

WK: Hanging out at home with my family.

What is your favourite stress reliever?

WK: Taking a good night's sleep.

If you could relax for a day with any athlete from the world of track and field, who would it be and why?

WK: Maybe Usain Bolt. He looks like a very interesting person to me.

What is your favourite TV show?

WK: I watch the news, politics shows and sometimes sport.

What is your favourite meal to relax with?

WK: Ugali with chicken and vegetables.

Wilson at play

How did your interest in hotels begin?

WK: Because of my running career, I travel a lot and stay in all kind of hotels and that is how I got interested in the hotel business.

When and why did you buy your first hotel?

WK: I have one hotel in Iten called Keellu Resort. I built it as an investment and for my wife, because she manages the hotel most of the time.

How much time each week do you devote to working in your hotel?

WK: Not so much. I have good people working there. When I am in preparation for a race, I try to avoid going there.

If you could spend dinner with any celebrity at your hotel, who would they be?

WK: I would like to have dinner with Barack Obama and his wife, and some other politicians. I think that would be very interesting.

Which city in the world has the best hotels and why?

WK: I saw many good hotels all over the world. Maybe the hotels in New York and London that I've stayed in are the best.

Steve Landells for the IAAF