Lagat Targets Sub-61 Half-Marathon Mark
Two years ago, Bernard Lagat sat at home in Tucson, AZ, watching fellow track stars Mo Farah and Galen Rupp make their half-marathon debuts.
“They were moving,” Lagat recalled yesterday at a luncheon, “and I’m thinking to myself, ‘You know what, every time I do my tempo run I just feel like I’m putting it all out there and still making maybe 4:50-something [-minute miles]. But these guys are going faster than that, and they look comfortable.’ So that gave me motivation: Basically, it’s the training that makes you feel like that.”
Lagat, a two-time Olympic medalist at 1500 meters and the double World Champion in 2007 at 1500 and 5000 meters, is now deep into training that’s making him feel like that. On March 17, he will follow in the footsteps—perhaps literally—of Farah and Rupp when he makes his 13.1-mile debut at the NYC Half.
Farah won that race, in 1:00.23, with Rupp finishing third in 1:00:30.
“We all know that Kip steps up in races,” said Lagat’s manager, James Templeton, referring to Lagat by his nickname. “Coach [James] Li is pretty confident that Kip is going to come up with something solid at the distance. I would think Coach Li is thinking the level of Mo and Galen, running under 61.”