Elite athlete Kenenisa Bekele worried about boredom in Sunday's London Marathon

Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele speaks to the media via Zoom in a virtual and socially distanced press conference

Five-time world champion Kenenisa Bekele admits he could get bored running the London Marathon on Sunday.

The elite-only races will involve 19 clockwise laps of a 2.15km route around St James’s Park, with a traditional finish on The Mall.

Ethiopia’s Bekele, a double 10,000m Olympic champion, faces off against world-record holder Eliud Kipchoge but conceded he would prefer a different course.

He said: “One lap is better because when it’s multi laps you get bored by repeating the same place.

“You are facing it many times, if you get some difficulties in the same place you are repeating it several times and it makes you uncomfortable.

“It’s not an easy thing, it’s a long way and maybe at some point you’re losing some speed because of the curve. I don’t know how curved it is, we will see on Sunday.

“The course is a new course, unless we can check you can’t guess (how quick it is). At this moment it’s difficult to say if it’s a fast course or not. Anything is possible if it’s going well.

“The crowds are (usually) cheering all the way and this is running for 2k (laps) without any crowds, it’s really difficult but it’s important everyone stays healthy, maybe they can join watching on TV. This is a bad time for everyone.”

He races against Kipchoge, the reigning Olympic marathon champion, who will wear the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next%.

These are virtually the same shoes he wore for the Ineos-1:59 Challenge in Vienna last October, when he became the first person to run a marathon in under two hours.

Kipchoge, though, shrugged off his fears of losing his concentration on the revised course.

He said: “I don’t think it’ll change my focus, I’ll remain focused as always. All of us who are starting at the same time will go the same distance. I don’t think it’ll disrupt my focus.”


Veteran more worried about tech than running during virtual race

Father to run 25th London Marathon in a row after battling Covid-19 and leg injury

Facts you may not know about the capital's famous 26.2 mile event