Hassan marathon start in London: “I wonder how fast I ran”

After winning gold medals in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters on the Tokyo track, Sifan Hassan will soon push his limits: he will dare to take his first step into the marathon.

The 30-year-old, two-time Olympic champion will make her debut at the prestigious London Marathon on April 23 in the 42km 195m classical distance. “I like challenges.”

Hassan wants to know what’s possible for him in the marathon, given next year’s Olympic Games in Paris. He could choose to perform on the track and in the streets in the French capital. “I haven’t made a decision on this yet.”

half marathon

Hassan wants to be challenged. The 800, 1,500, 5,000 and 10,000 meters on the track have earned him major titles in recent years, but the marathon has been on the mend for years. It was on the way before. Hassan holds the European half marathon record with 1:05:15, but now the real work begins with the marathon test.

“Everyone dreams of running a marathon one day. The distance is too long. I’m just wondering how fast I’m running. Can I finish the marathon or not? So far, I’ve run 35 kilometers while training in Ethiopia. This is the furthest one.”, looking forward to the start of the marathon.

Hassan made a conscious decision to go to London. Another prestigious race, the Rotterdam Marathon, takes place a week before the start in the UK capital, but that wasn’t an option for them. “London is one of the most important marathons and has the strongest athletes to begin with. I want to see what I do against the best runners in the world.”

Home Amsterdam

Watching the Olympic marathon medal ceremony in Tokyo in the summer of 2021, Hassan began to feel that he should test himself in this grueling discipline. Last year’s Amsterdam Marathon did the rest.

Hassan was invited to kick off and enjoyed the atmosphere around the event. “My thought was always that the track was just great. When I was there in Amsterdam I thought: Wow, that’s great.

Hassan is currently training with his coach Tim Rowberry in the 2,700 meters in Ethiopia. He’s getting ready for the marathon and the running season because he’s not saying goodbye to the track. He sees his driving performance as a test, as a first meeting. “I don’t have time in mind. It just creates pressure. I see this marathon as a learning process.”

The way to get there is also new. “Marathon training is very different. I’m particularly excited to see how it goes. You run almost 42 kilometers on hyper acid, your heart rate is much higher. It is more than two hours’ walk. Actually, I’m used to just training on the track, a lot of short-term work. I’m also curious about the impact of the training sessions, it’s not just the game itself.”

Olympic marathon?

Hassan does not yet dare to say whether his adventure in London will also lead to the start of the Olympic marathon in Paris. “I can say now: I’m going to run a marathon in Paris next year, but first I need to see how things go in London.”

The program in Paris also played a role in his decision. The combination of 10,000 meters and marathon on the track is actually impossible in games. “The Olympic 10,000m final is Friday evening and the marathon is Sunday morning. It doesn’t go together.”

His passion for the Olympics in Paris will largely depend on his performance in London. And how you digested marathon training. “For me, the marathon is the ultimate goal. You have to be patient because you have to walk for more than two hours. I’ve never done this in a competition. I just want to challenge. This motivates me.”

Source: NOS