Birmingham — Newly crowned Commonwealth Games marathon bronze medalist Michael Githae was left ruing a muscle pull as he had to settle for third place in the men's race on Saturday.
Githae clocked 2:13:16 in third in an East African affair that saw Uganda's Vincent Kiplangat clinch the country's first ever marathon gold at the Commonwealth in 2:10:55 as Tanzanian Alphonce Simbu came second in 2:12:29.
The 2017 Shizuoka Marathon champion said the muscle pull prevented him from catching up to his two East African counterparts.
"I had planned to kick on powerfully and catch up to the two of them and then take control of the race. However, this muscle pull... it just kept bothering me and instead the other guys managed to widen the gap. Otherwise, the result would have been much better than it is," Githae said.
Githae was initially a reserve athlete on Athletics Kenya's marathon team for the Commonwealth Games, which included Philemon Kacheran, Jonathan Korir and Eric Kiptanui.
Despite being on standby, the Fukuoka Marathon champion said he never relented in his training and was always ready to give his best when called upon.
"My dream coming into these championships was to get to the podium and so I thank God for that. Despite being a reserve, I did not rest but kept training intensely and I am happy that I delivered when I was called upon. This medal has set the pace for the other milestones I want to reach in life," he said.
Githae's bronze was a silver lining for Team Kenya on day when everything in road races seemed to crumble.
The 2018 Berlin Half Marathon champion Kiptanui was first unable to compete due to a confusion with the listing of his name on the startlist.
The other Kenyan in the race, Korir, clocked 21:14:06 in fifth.
Githae sympathized with his countrymen and noted it was just a bad day in the office for Team Kenya.
"We have really tried because this course is really tough. We were supposed to be three but as you see we were only two. One of us could not compete due to a confusion with the registration. It was quite tough conditions, and we thank God for emerging through it all," he said.