NAIROBI, July 21 (Xinhua) — Kenya’s Lawrence Cherono is still coming to terms with the cancelation of the 2020 Chicago Marathon due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has put a block on global events.
“It was unfortunate that the Chicago Marathon was canceled, it was my only hope for the season after the postponement of Tokyo Olympics. For now, I don’t know what the future holds for me this year.
Maybe my management can secure for me one race; the Abu Dhabi Marathon scheduled for December 11, perhaps,” Cherono told Xinhua on Tuesday.
The reigning Boston and Chicago Marathon champion’s season is over, after it was revealed that neither the Tokyo Olympic Games nor the Chicago Marathon would take place this year.
Earlier this year, Athletics Kenya had named the 31-year-old alongside reigning Olympic marathon champion and world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge and World Championships marathon bronze medalist Amos Kipruto for the postponed Tokyo Olympics.
Former world half marathon silver medalist Bedan Karoki and African Games half marathon champion Titus Ekiru were picked as reserves.
“At the moment it’s wait and see, but just like other runners, I’m keeping fit with my daily long run training as well as attending to my maize farming business,” Cherono said.
Born in Baringo, some 250km northwest of Nairobi, Cherono still harbors dreams of representing Kenya at the international events.
“My Olympic marathon squad naming was a dream come true, it has been my dream to run for my country.
The dream is still on but now our health remains paramount, and we hope the pandemic will go away and we can resume normal life,” Cherono said.
At the 2019 Chicago Marathon, Cherono led a double victory for Kenya, with Brigid Kosgei breaking Britain’s Paula Radcliffe’s previous women’s world marathon record by running 2:14:04 on her way to victory.
Kosgei was also going for her third consecutive Chicago Marathon title this year, and like Cherono, she was named in Kenya’s Olympic Games marathon team.
The Chicago event was the fourth World Major Marathon to be canceled, after the races in Berlin, Boston and New York were all pushed to next year due to COVID-19.
It is still uncertain whether the London Marathon slated for October 4 will go ahead as planned.