Flashback2017: Wambui finds rare Mountain Running delight
Kenya has been known to excel in road running but local fans can look back at the rare glory delivered by Lucy Wambui who beat the odds to emerge top at the 33rd WMRA World Mountain Running Championships held in July 30 in Premana, Italy.
Wambui’s upset the bookmakers as she toppled Australian Andrea Mayer who had dominated the event for close to eight years to bag Kenya’s first gold medal in the annual event in Premana.
The former Stramilano Half Marathon winner could hardly hide her joy after upgrading her 2014 silver medal to gold despite failing to honour the 2015 and 2016 editions due to lack of support in terms of travel and accommodation. The two competed against each other in 2014 at the Di Massa Mountain where Mayer had then prevailed.
“Before I went for my race I trained for three months at my camp Run2gether, which is situated in the hilly parts of Mai Mahiu. Before I left I knew I was in good condition because we have trials every month. I won the trials with ease.
“About two weeks before I participated in Premana, I had gone to compete at Grossglockner Berglauf Mountain in upper Austria which made me know my training status. The race in Premana was not easy because it was up the mountain,” WambIi, who was Kenya’s sole representative at the competition said after a light training session in Longonot town.
“I felt very happy after defeating Mayer because she has been dominating the event taking gold for the last about seven years. She did not see that coming. When I passed her she was surprised and thought she would catch up on me, though it was challenging I kept on a spirited fight,” Wambui said.
The 30-year-old recently resumed training after a long rest of about five months to prepare for the Africa Cross Country Championships that will be held in Chelf, Algeria.
“I have just resumed for training to catch up with flat speed is not that simple after doing a lot hilly work. Am eyeing a slot in Team Kenya for the Africa Cross Country Championships hence there is a lot that needs to be done before the trials. It will be part of my training; afterwards I will probably compete in a 10,000m or half marathon race. One needs to be strong on flat speed if you want to excel in mountain racing,” Wambui added.
The mother of one told Citizen Digital that training for an uphill mountain racing it very different from the normal road racing since one had to do a of training uphill for about hour and downhill for recovery. That is not all, one is also supposed to do slope training hence the terrain near Mt Longonot is ideal for them.
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