Double national cross country junior champion Samuel Chebolei is set to compete at the Kumamoto and Huyogo races back in Japan.
Chebolei, who early this month made his debut in road running after finishing second to his elder brother, the 2014 Commonwealth Games 1,500m bronze medalist Roald Kwemoi at the Castellon 10km Road race said that he has been training well for the track events.
Chebolei, who won the national cross country title on 22nd January at the Lobo Village in Eldoret, the first race after graduating into senior ranks, went ahead to win the Agnes Tirop Memorial Cross country title on 12th February at the same venue.
“This was my happiest moment, winning both the national cross country title and the Agnes Tirop Memorial cross country championships. The win has motivated me to work extra hard to better results in future, maintaining that top position not to come down,” said Chebolei.
In Spain, Kwemoi won the race in 27:17 in a course record with Chebolei coming second timing 27:18 and Ethiopian Tadese Takele completing the podium in 27:20.
He said running and competing against his brother was a good experience since they guided each other.
“It was so motivating running with my brother. That was our first race together and I hope we shall run more in the coming days,” he said.
He added that it was an amazing experience for family members to top two positions away from home.
“I compete in 5,000m while he (kwemoi) competes in 1,500m but the amazing factor is that we ran together in a road race, which was equal to everyone” he added.
After graduating from junior to senior, he said it wasn’t easy but he had to prepare well for this long and tough journey.
“Being a junior runner, you need to prepare your mind, body and soul very well to graduate as a senior because you can’t run as a junior forever. As an athlete, you need to discover and make your name while running as a junior as you progress and for me, the first race, after graduating from junior to senior, I managed to win the national cross country, it was a miracle for me,” he said.
As he joined road running, Chebolei said he wanted to win his maiden road race.
“My first road race was difficult since it was my first time but I had to learn who I am competing against and learn on skills and style of running but I tried my level best, using experience that I have gained to finish number two,” he said.
“Though my target was to win in my first road race that did not come through but am happy that I managed to be second,” he said.
Chebolei will be competing at the Kumamoto 5,000m track in Japan as well as the Huyogo 10,000m next month as part of his preparations for world championships.