Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
2 Apr 2014
11:00 am

April believes he can win Boston Marathon

Wesley Botton

Lusapho April says he will stick to the routine that has worked for him in the past as he aims to become the first South African runner to win the world's oldest standard marathon.

FILE PICTURE: Lusapho April. Picture: ImageSA / Gallo Images.

April is hoping to make history when he lines up at the Boston Marathon in Massachusetts on April 21.

While Ernst van Dyk won the wheelchair race nine times between 2001 and 2010, no able-bodied South African has secured victory in the 117-year-old annual 42km event.

Having finished third at the New York Marathon in November, April said yesterday he would approach Boston – another race in the World Marathon Majors series – with the same confidence.

“It’s not really intimidating that nobody has won there before,” he said.

“Before New York I didn’t really know much about the race or the course, apart from watching tapes from previous years.

“I didn’t even take a drive along the route before the race, so when I was running I saw the course for the first time. And I’m going to do the same thing in Boston.

“I don’t want to tire myself out by travelling up and down after a 30-hour flight, and if I have the same build-up as I did in New York, I’ll be ready.”

A two-time winner of the Hannover Marathon, April was 15th at the World half-marathon championships in Copenhagen last week in 1:01:16, helping the national team to fourth position overall and improving his nine-year-old 21km career record by 16 seconds.

With that impressive effort behind him, he said he was ready to tackle a world-class field on the downhill Boston course.

“It went well (in Copenhagen), and I was satisfied with my all-round performance.

“To run a personal best three weeks before the race is good, so I’m happy with where I am in my preparation.”