In the build up to the race, some of the biggest names in running were touted as potential winners, with old rivalries rearing up and challenges being made across continents. But it was these two unknown runners that took the glory.
For Ketema and Molvik, running isn't something they do or something they like, it's something they are. It runs deep into their core.
Ketema , who ran just over 78k, said ‘The Wings for Life World Run was an amazing experience because I’d never competed in a long distance run, and so I was not sure how hard to run. Winning it meant a lot to me because it was a way of showing the world – and myself – that I am good runner’.
Since May 2014, Ketema has put running at the very heart of his career and now hopes to run for Austria, his adopted home, in Rio’s 2016 Olympics:
‘I am getting a lot of support now, and this gives me the chance to train better and harder. Also it is easier to start at good races and alongside the elite athletes’.
Commited to learning German well enough to do all next year’s interviews in German, Ketema has made the exciting decision to run in Austria again, where Peru’s Remigio Huaman Quispe, who he beat by 90m, will start alongside him, giving hope of another phenomenal battle to the end. To prepare, Ketema , ‘Now [has] a better feeling for how long and how fast I will have to run to be in front and maybe win again’, and he even suggested to Colin Jackson that he might be the one to hit the 100k mark in 2015.
Molvik, astonishingly, only decided at the last minute to enter the race. No training. No warm up. Just a love of running. Then, after 54.79k on Norway’s stunning track, the Catcher Car pulled up behind the student, and she was crowned the first ever Wings for Life World Run global female winner and stepped into the history books.
'I was taken completely by surprise. I didn't know I was the global winner until after I finished. No one told me I was in the lead,' said the beaming 18 year old. Life since the May 4, 2014 hasn’t changed radically for her, and even though many people recognise her from magazine photo shoots and TV documentaries, she is ‘still the same Elise’ with a dream of going to medical school and her heart set on becoming a doctor’.
Running, she uses to relax, to feel free when she is not buried in medical books, and she is ‘not 100% sure that I will compete again, but I most likely will. I have not set a training plan: Last year, I didn't do any. I just ran, so maybe I’ll stick to that plan next year, too.’ Dubai is Molvik's choice for next year – ‘I think the Wings for Life was a really great concept, and the event was great! I think next year there will be ever more participants.