Global Running News  Global Running News
Injuries and Treatment  Injuries
Nutrition Information  Nutrition
Running Training Information  Training
Running Information Forums  Forums

   Running Information      USA Running      Running South Africa      Running New Zealand      Running UK      Running Ireland      Running Ireland      Deutsch Laufzeit      Copenhagen Marathon      Suomen Juoksu      Sverige Löpning      Tel Aviv Marathon      Running Australia      Running Kenya      Running Europe      Running Malta      Running Namibia

Great comeback for Ochichi

Isabella Ochichi on Podium

Isabella Ochichi on Podium

The streets of the Czech capital on Saturday provided the setting for what was one of the most impressive  comebacks of recent times in long distance running.  Kenya’s Isabella Ochichi took third place in the Hervis Prague Half Marathon with a time of 69:21 in  her first major international race for more than six years.

The fact that the 33 year-old last competed outside Kenya in 2006 and that she achieved such a good performance on her return made this an outstanding  performance, perhaps unprecedented in women’s distance running at this level.

Isabella Ochichi’s biggest success came in the Olympic Games in 2004 when she   won the silver medal in the 5,000 m behind Meseret Defar and ahead of Defar’s Ethiopian compatriot f Tirunesh Dibaba  in Athens. In 2006 she had a fine track season that ended with a third place in the 5,000 m of the World Athletics Final in Stuttgart. This appearance was her last  outside Kenya until Saturday, April 6, 2013. In the interim she  suffered of an injury to her left Achilles tendon. “I had surgery on it in 2006 and then tried to come back in 2007. But it didn’t work. So I had to have a second operation in Kenya in 2008. After that it took a long time to heal,” recalls Isabella Ochichi.

She had a baby in 2010 (Bernard is now two and a half) and after that started running again. “But when I started I didn’t think of a comeback. It was just about keeping fit.” Because of the pregnancy she had naturally put on some weight. “I had 17 kilos more than before. I didn’t use any special diet to get rid of the extra kilos. Instead I worked very hard in training First I started slowly and then  added distance to my training runs. Step by step I moved forward and it was going better and better.”

It was at the beginning of last year when she started thinking of a comeback. In February 2012 Isabella Ochichi participated in a cross country race in Kenya. Nine months later she felt ready for a test at the half marathon distance: at  high altitude she competed in Nakuru and ran 74:26. After that Isabella Ochichi decided to go for her first international race since 2006 and selected the Hervis Prague Half Marathon. “I knew she was serious because Isabella is a very professional athlete,” said Zane Branson, her manager. He also revealed that she trains in the Ngong hills with the group of marathon world record holder Patrick Makau (2:03:38).

“I wanted to come to Prague to see what I can achieve with my training. I wasn’t  sure what would be possible here,” she said. After finishing third in 69:21 in very cold conditions she was overwhelmed: “After all these years I am very happy now. I expected to run well, but I didn’tt think about achieving a third place.” It was the third fastest time of her career. And she was not that far away from her twelve year-old personal best of 68:38.

At the age of 33 she might well have some excellent years ahead of her in  distance running. “I am not as fast as I used to be, but  still have good speed,” said Isabella Ochichi, who lives with her family in Ngong near Nairobi. “My next goal is to make  my marathon debut. I plan to do this in May.” Isabella Ochichi may well head back to Prague since the Volkswagen Prague Marathon will be staged on 12th May. What might sound a bit overambitous at first becomes very realistic once she talks in more detail about her training: “I have already done training races of 38 kilometres!” Isabella Ochichi is ready for the next step. And the Czech capital may provide the stage once more for the next phase of return to the top flight.


  1. […] (Ethiopia/68:12). Cherono’s time was the fourth fastest in the world this year. In third place Isabella Ochichi made a fine comeback. More than six years after her last international competition the Kenyan Olympic 5,000 m silver […]

Speak Your Mind