Kenya’s Peter Some Headlining Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, by Paul Gains

Peter racing hard at last year's Lisbon Half-marathon where he placed 2nd in 60:21. Photo: Victor Sailer, Photo Run

Peter racing hard at last year’s Lisbon Half-marathon where he placed 2nd in 60:21. Photo: Victor Sailer, Photo Run

TORONTO. August 19th. Although his training is going exceedingly well for the upcoming Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (October 19th) Peter Kimeli Some was not quite himself this week.

The winner of the 2013 Paris Marathon, in a superb personal record of 2:05:38, took the news that his beloved Manchester United had lost their English Premier League opener quite hard.

“I like football very much and my favourite team is Manchester United,” the Kenyan marathon star explains. “My favourite player is Wayne Rooney. I hope the Dutch coach Louis van Gaal will bring Man United back to the title in England and hopefully to be the best team in the world.”

Some has experienced the ups and downs of his football team over the years, mostly by watching the side on satellite television at his home. But there’s no getting away from the fact his focus is otherwise exclusively on running well in Toronto. The race, for the seventh consecutive year, is an IAAF Silver Label race and he knows he will face a formidable field.

The course record of 2:07:05, set a year ago by Ethiopia’s Derissa Chimsa, is one target but he is also aware that the fastest time ever run on Canadian soil is 2:06:55. That standard was recorded by another Ethiopian, Yemane Tsegay, in Ottawa last spring.

“I have the plan to run a new course record in Toronto,” he declares confidently. “And that’s why it will be very important that the weather conditions are good and that there will be strong and stable pacemakers. And of course, also, a victory is important for

“My long term goal is to improve my time. When I’m in the shape like last year in the Paris marathon I can run again below 2:06:00. I hope I can run faster than 2.06:55 but I cannot predict the exact time. But with the help of God’s power I will do my utmost best.”

Some remembers the Paris race very well. Against a very strong field he took roughly three minutes off his personal best to stun the favourites.

“It was a strong field in the Paris marathon,” the 24 year old concedes. “Several athletes in the field had already run a sub 2:06:00 time. When I started in Paris, at that moment, my best time was 2:08:33, which I ran in the Frankfurt marathon. But I knew I was in really good shape so I was not fearing any athlete.”

Like many of his countrymen Some used his winnings wisely choosing to build himself a new three bedroom bungalow in Kapsabet, which he shares with his wife Kangogo Cheburet and their one year old daughter Sheerlen Jebet. He continues to plant vegetables and look after his cows and chickens when he is not busy training or recovering.

Although he is managed by Dutch based Volare Sports, a company which also represents such marathon stalwarts as Geoffrey Mutai, Wilson Kipsang and Dennis Kimetto, because he lives in Kipsabet, he does not train with them, but with his own group.

“Yes, training is very competitive,” he reveals. “Several athletes in the group have already run below 2:10:00 in the marathon or below 60 minutes in the half marathon.
Some of the strong athletes in my group are Stanley Biwott and Dickson Chumba. Dickson won this year’s Tokyo marathon and, in the past, the Eindhoven marathon in the Netherlands. I’m also training together with some of my brothers like Nicholas Togom (winner of a ten mile race in Schortens, Holland August 17 in 46:32).

“I run at least 25 kilometers per day. But in my long runs I go further. Depending on my program I run sometimes 40 kilometers, sometimes 35 kilometers, sometimes 30 kilometers and sometimes 25 km.”

Quite apart from the high altitude of the Great Rift Valley where he lives and trains genetics must play a part in his success to date. His father was Some Muge, the bronze medalist at the 1983 IAAF World Cross Country Championships.

“I’m inspired by my father,” Some explains. “He was a strong athlete in the past and he told me to try to become a professional runner. He also inspired my brothers to start running. My father was a farmer and well known athlete in Kenya. He became Kenyan national champion at 10,000 meters and cross country in the years 1982, 1983 and 1984.

“Unfortunately, my dad passed away when I was 8 years old. My mother encouraged me to run and she always watched and inspired me when I was running in training or races.”

Some has, in the past, represented Kenya on the world stage which in itself speaks volumes of his ability. A year ago he finished 9th in the 2013 IAAF World Championship marathon in the muggy conditions of Moscow. There he ran 2:11:47. But city marathons can be quite lucrative. Indeed, victory in Toronto would earn him $20,000 while a course record would be worth an additional $35,000. There are time bonuses on top of that not to mention a good appearance fee.

“Athletes who ran the Toronto marathon already have told me that it is a good marathon with a flat course and with good weather conditions,” he says. “I really hope the conditions will be okay this year again.”

With an international cast of elite racers and good pacing the course record could very well fall to Peter Some. Now, if only Manchester United can turn things around to make him totally content.

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