Reigning world half-marathon champions Geoffrey Kamworor and Netsanet Gudeta will go into the TCS World 10K Bengaluru 2018 on Sunday (27 May) as the favourites but both runners, from Kenya and Ethiopia respectively, were careful not to raise expectations too high for their first race since winning their global crowns in Valencia two months ago.
“I’m very happy to be back in Bengaluru (where he won in 2012 and 2014). I’ve been looking forward to this race and my training since Valencia has been very strong. After Valencia, I had one week of rest and then began training for this race. However, I have changed very little for this race, maybe doing a little bit less distance work. For me, the most important part about training is to have passion and focus,” commented Kamworor at the traditional pre-race press conference.
The Kenyan set the current TCS World 10K course record of 27:44 when winning in the Indian city back in 2014, coincidently his last outing over this distance on the roads.
“However, I have run 10,000m on the track many times since then and I feel very comfortable over this distance,” he added.
When asked about whether he could improve on his course record, the smiling Kamworor was cautiously non-committal, knowing that expectations have been elevated by his presence at the race. “You know, (looking back to Valencia) when I reach the finish line of a race, I look at it as the starting line of a new race. That motivates me very much and makes me want to do better and break my own records.”
“I have a very good coach in Patrick Sang who understands me and my requirements for the races that are about to happen. He makes sure that I prepare well for every race and for me, belief is my strongest factor. When there is a strong field, like here in the TCS World 10K, I have to make sure that I am in love with the race so that I can do my best.”
Gudeta has become a running community celebrity since her win in Valencia in a women-only world half-marathon record of 1:06:11 to follow in the footsteps of Ethiopian female distance running icons such as Derartu Tulu, Meseret Defar and Tirunesh Dibaba.
“A lot of people ask me about Valencia and how I expected to do. I think I prepared very well for that race and I hoped to win but I didn’t know that I would break a world record, so that was a surprise,” commented Gudeta, via a translator.
Naturally, a lot of talk at the press conference was about whether Gudeta could break the TCS World 10K women’s course record of 31:44, held by Kenya’s Lucy Kabuu since 2014.
“Running on Sunday, I’m going to push myself to do my best and that’s all that matters. I will try and improve my time (Gudeta has a personal best of 31:35) as well.
The course itself doesn’t affect me but when the weather is good, that helps me stay more motivated as a runner. In Valencia, it was very cold and rainy, but I think Bangalore will be different. It’s hotter and the surface is different as well, so I think it’s something I look forward to.”
“I haven’t decided what my plans for the future are. I’ll have to talk to my coach and then see what’s best for me. Training for track will become my main focus (after this race). I have done a marathon in the past and I will certainly do one again in the future but when I don’t know.”
The TCS World 10K Bengaluru 2018 can boast some of the strongest men’s and women’s fields ever assembled for a 10km road race, with runners coming from all six continental associations for the IAAF Gold Label Road Race (see the event website for further details).
Approximately 27,000 runners will take to the roads for five different races in what has become one of Bengaluru’s most high-profile sporting events.
In addition to the TCS World 10K for elite runners, there is an Open 10K, the Majja Run (6km) the Senior Citizens’ Race and Champions with Disability Race (both 4km).