Emmanuel Masinde @PeopleSport11
With 13 days to go to the end of the year, Vincent Yator is counting his blessings in a year that saw him come from the jaws of death in February to recover and even win a medal in a major race.
The 2010 Africa 5,000m silver medallist believes that it is a miracle that he is alive and life has given him a second chance. He survived a horror accident in February as he travelled back to Eldoret from Nairobi where he had acquired a visa to go compete at this year’s Paris Marathon.
The accident that occurred along the Nakuru-Eldoret highway, claimed the life of his friend as he survived with head injuries forcing him to miss Paris Marathon.
“I believe I was given a second chance in life by God and I would like to use it well, I believe I was born to run and win titles. I will pursue my dreams more aggressively,” said Yator at the weekend, after he returned from Hawai where he finished second in the famous Honolulu Marathon.
He believes that it has been an eventful year, full of mixed fortunes and remains optimistic that the new year has a lot to offer for him. It has been a long journey to recovery for him, but he is happy with his progress and is now raring to go.
After being discharged from Reale Hospital in Eldoret following the accident, Yator continued with his checkup after every month from March to June. Later on in July he tried to go for some light exercise at a gym, but he says it did not work for him.
“After I completed my medical check-up in June and the doctor gave me go-ahead to resume my training in July, I tried to start my comeback by going to the gym but my body could not respond, so I stopped and went back home disappointed,” Yator told People Sports.
In August he went back to the gym and though it was still not easy for him to resume training, this time he did not give up. By the time he was resuming training in August, he weighed 61kg but later reduced to 53kg then he decided it was time to test his form at a race before the end of the year and he was shocked to be on the podium at the Honolulu Marathon in a time of 2.15.31, as he initially only targeted a top 10 finish.
The race won by fellow Kenyan Titus Ekiru from Turkana county who clocked 2.09.01. “I was covering between 27km and 30km as part of my daily training and that greatly helped me return to shape,” said Yator.
In September he returned to full training but the momentum picked up in October as his body responded well to training.