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Commonwealth Games gold medallist Lucy Kabuu will be inspired by her own particular Angel when she makes her marathon debut at the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon on Friday (January 27).
The 27 year-old Kenyan flyer – winner of the 10,000m gold medal at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006 – is making the move into marathon running after a hiatus that involved maternity leave following the birth of her baby daughter Angel.
And after storming to victory in last year’s Great North Run in Newcastle, England and winning the recent Kenyan Police Cross Country Championships, great things are expected of a girl who has twice been an Olympic finalist.
Kabuu’s Great North Run win in 67:06 over a half marathon distance was the third fastest in the event’s 30 year history and the Kenyan will certainly have the more established elites in her sights after going a further two seconds faster to win the New Delhi Half Marathon in 67:04 just two months ago.
“The Great North Run was only my second race after giving birth to my daughter Angel and the whole way round I felt she was with me,” said Kabuu. “I was so pleased to have a little girl and it was the name I always wanted. I called her that because all my life I have felt like angels have guided me during my races.”
At the recent Kenyan Police Cross Country Championships, Kabuu again underlined her ability by storming ahead of great rivals Vivian Cheruiyot and Linet Masai to take the title – an impressive feat considering Cheruiyot is the World Cross Country Champion, while Masai is the World Cross Country silver medalist.
“My body has been responding well to training,” added Kabuu, who has spent over a month training for Dubai. “I have been doing 48km then dropping to 40km, 30km and to 20km. I want to try the marathon and see what plans God has for me.”
Kabuu is expected to be one of the star performers in Dubai and even has ambitions of a sub 2h:19m performance in an event staged under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, and under the aegis of the Dubai Sports Council.
“Lucy Kabuu is certainly creating headlines in distance running so it will be exciting to see how she adapts to the marathon,” said Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon event director Peter Connerton.
“Only nine women in the history of the marathon have broken the 2h:20m mark so naturally we will be delighted if we can have one of our elite women break through that barrier when the event gets underway at The Pavilion, Downtown Dubai on January 27. It’s a hugely talented field of women runners and should provide a fantastic race as Lucy and many others are targeting Olympic qualification.”
The Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon is supported by The Dubai Sports Council, Dubai Holding, “Official Outfitter” adidas, Emaar, Dubai Eye 103.8 FM, Sport 360, TNT, Fitness First, Plan B and by government departments Dubai Police, RTA, Dubai Municipality DHA and the Dubai Ambulance Services.
Runners looking to compete in the Marathon or the 10km can still register online at this site.