Thursday, May 31, 2012

5 Questions with Augustine Choge

Augustine Choge on his way to World Indoor
Silver earlier this year in Istanbul
(photo: Zimbio)
Today we have 5 Questions with a mainstay in the international track circuit, whose career has spanned from being a World Junior Cross Country Champion in 2005 to a Silver Medalist at the World Indoor Championships at 3000 meters earlier this year in Istanbul, Turkey.

Augustine Choge will be competing in America for the first time ever this weekend in the stacked 5000 at the Prefontaine Classic. He's been in Tucson, Arizona, training with his friend, Bernard Lagat, for the past few weeks to prepare. His long spanning career and range is incredible, with PR's of 1:44.86 (800), 3:29.47 (1500), 3:50.14 (Mile), 7:28.00 (300) and 12:53.66 (5000). After Pre, he'll run the Adidas Grand Prix next weekend before preparing for the Kenyan Trials in three weeks. Follow him on Twitter @AugustineChoge

5 Questions with Augustine Choge

1. Writing About Running: First off, welcome to the United States. How far back does your relationship with Bernard Lagat go and how is Tucson so far?

Augustine Choge: Thanks for everything. My relationship with (Bernard) Lagat goes back to the year 2004, when I first met him when I joined the management of James Templeton and am humbled to say that he has been more than a friend. He is like my parent, brother, teacher and moreover, a mentor. He and his family have been supportive, both in track and outside the track, and I am very happy to have met them.

Tucson is great so far. Kip has introduced me to some of his friends and I am pleased to tell you that everyone here has a good heart. They are very supportive and welcoming and I am very happy with the hospitality here. The city is a wonderful place. People everywhere are friendly and the service you get is the top of the standard.

2. Writing About Running: You had a strong start to the Diamond League season with a 7:30.42 win in the 3000. Have you changed your training much for the Olympic year?

Augustine Choge: Well, in training here, there is not much that we will change and (actually) won't change anything. The main goal now is to make the national team for Kenya, then from there we plan (with my coach Brother Colm) on the next step. I believe so far everything is on the right track.

3. Writing About Running: With the Kenyan Olympic Trials a month away (June 21-23), what do you have planned after Prefontaine this weekend?

Augustine Choge: After Pre, the main goal is to set up the mind and focus all the energy for the Kenyan Trials, though I will run the Adidas Grand Prix in New York City.

Lagat and Choge. Friends off the track
 and competitiors on
(photo: Getty Images)
4. Writing About Running: You have competed at the World Class level for the past 10 years. What has allowed you to maintain your fitness and be competitive for so long?

Augustine Choge: Well, maintaining the world class level is all about the mental attitude and discipline and moreover, being with the right people with positive mind. Bernard, for example, has been our mentor in our group and through him, we learn a lot. That is why I have always tried to be as close to him as possible. My coach is one of the best coaches in the world and he has contributed a lot for my success. Much credit goes to him. He always teaches on the mental attitude, apart from the physical training and I think this has positively contributed more in my success.

5. Writing About Running: The Prefontaine Classic is the biggest and best meet in America. Are you excited to be racing at Hayward Field in Track Town USA?

Augustine Choge: Running in the Pre Classic is one of the dreams most high class athletes dream of, because of its history and America is one of the nations which almost everyone in other parts of the world dreams of visiting, because of its reputation and history. It is my dream to do well and hope to visit here as much as possible, even to come here to (just) train for couples of months.

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