Family Ties Matter for Gebremariam & Kidane
by Chris Lotsbom
(c) Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
BOSTON (14-Apr) -- One year ago, Gebre Gebremariam and Werknesh Kidane returned home to Ethiopia following the 2011 Boston Marathon pleased. Gebremariam had just run 2:04:53, a personal best good enough to finish third, while Kidane, his wife, placed seventh, running 2:26:15, also a personal best.
But in their children Nathaniel and Muse's eyes, something seemed wrong. "They say, 'why don't you win all the time. We lose and they keep asking 'why don't you win,'" said Kidane here yesterday with a bright smile.
Their answers were simple. Gebremariam had planned all along for a 2:06 race. Judging from history, that mark would keep him close to the lead; he never imagined 2:04:53 would only earn third place. Kidane, on the other hand, battled leg trouble through her own marathon.
On Sunday and Monday, respectively, here, the pair hope to earn wins for both themselves and their children. Kidane is racing Sunday's B.A.A. 5-K, while Gebremariam will toe the line in Monday's marathon.
"I prepare for winning," said the younger Gebremariam, 27. "Winning is enough in Boston. It's special."
Training in Addis Ababa, the husband and wife duo have been working hard, even with some help from their children. After tough training sessions, Nathaniel and Muse know how to help their hard working parents, by behaving well.
"After practice, they don't bother us, because they know we are runners and we need sleep and rest," said Kidane, 30, through a translator. "They aren't like other kids. They are really good kids."
In addition to their rest times, though, Gebremariam and Kidane have been training to win their respective races. Gebremariam is intent on improving higher towards the top of the podium.
"I run to win," said the 2010 ING New York City Marathon champion.
Gebremariam also said he won't be intimidated by Kenyan Geoffrey Mutai, the defending champion and course record holder here. Head-to-head, Mutai has beaten Gebremariam in both the 2011 editions of the ING New York City Marathon and Boston Marathon, as well as at the B.A.A. 10-K last June.
"No, this is the marathon. Anything can happen in the marathon. And I am training for winning," he said. "I know Boston [now]. I know how much it is hard, and I know how much I've done for it."
If both Gebremariam and Kidane were to win this weekend, the husband and wife would leave for home completely satisfied, ready to enjoy a victory with their children.
"We would be so happy. I can't even think about it, how we would be," Kidane said. "Celebrating, it would be a good celebration."