Steve Way reckons his Kenyan rivals will take some stopping in tomorrow’s Edinburgh Marathon after his preparations were hit by injury.
But the Englishman admits he’s still out to make up for lost time despite his dash from zero to hero at last year’s Commonwealth Games.
The 40-year-old from Dorset, who finished tenth at Glasgow 2014, will head the British contingent on the streets of the Capital – just 35 days after being forced to jog around the London Marathon with his hopes of a record time knocked off track.
It hasn’t dampened the enthusiasm of the veteran who earned rare reviews for his transformation from 16 stone with 40-a-day smoking habit into a lean, mean running machine. “I just had to do something to change my life,” he said. “It was more the smoking than anything else that was really bad for me. And running proved pretty effective to help me stop.”
He’s not easing off but winning the Edinburgh 26 miler, that starts on London Road (9.50am) and ends up in Musselburgh’s Pinkie Park, might prove beyond him with Kenya’s David Toniok back to defend the title he picked up in 2014 and a cast of challengers that also includes Ethiopia’s Ebisa Merga and last year’s runner-up Japhet Koech.
“I had a glute tear in February which scuppered all my training, right up to the end of March,” Way revealed. “I did do London as a training runin the end after I managed to downgrade from the elite field and run under cover.
“I ran it in 2:35 which was quite good so I was hoping that by the time I got to Edinburgh, five weeks later, I’d be back to full fitness and knocking on the door of a 2:15, 2:16 run.
“Unfortunately straight after London, I got a cold which lasted three weeks. I trained through it but it was sub-standard. But the last few weeks, I’ve been training well. I still probably would need another three weeks to be at my best. But we’ll give it a go.”
More than 30,000 runners are expected to hit the streets over the two days of the Marathon Festival, which is now in its 14th year – with many getting up early tomorrow for the adjoining half-marathon at 8am as well as the Hairy Haggis Relay.
Joan Kigen of Kenya will start as favourite in the women’s marathon with Windsor’s Charlotte Firth heading the domestic challenge.