Most people consider running a sport but not Eliud Kipchoge. It’s difficult to put Eliud Kipchoge’s incredible sub-two-hour marathon into context given how recently it occurred. Like Roger Bannister in 1954, the Kenyan achieved something that many people thought could not be accomplished physically.
Some disagree about the technicalities, but the facts remain outstanding. Kipchoge raced a special course in Wien, Austria on 12 October 2019 at a time of 1:59:40 26.2 km. It did not count as an official world marathon record because pacing and fluids were not regular competition rules and it was not an “open” race. He was handled by a car and the elite team throughout was meticulously coordinated. But the moment was beyond the rules: the sense of opportunity and Kipchoges’ emotions subsequently ensured that he would consider the completion of the 1:59 challenge he had previously failed to complete in the years to come as his most significant achievement.
Kipchoge would have become the largest marathon rider of all time, aside from his challenge. In his running career, he won 12 of his 13 marathons including a marathon in Rio 2016 and four in London. In addition he owns a world record marathon running at the 2018 Berlin Marathon, a blistering time of 2:01:39, and a huge 1 minute and 18 seconds off the previous record.
He has been running at a high level since 2002, and specialized in the 5000 m – winning bronze during the 2004 Athens Olympics and silver in Beijing 2008. He was born in the district of Nandi in Kenya. Kipchoge has three children. The event, held on 9 August, was shifted from Tokyo to Sapporo in northern Japan owing to dread of the heat of the capital. Kipchoge is expected to be one of the Games’ major stars after his heroics in Vienna. The Kenyan runner is the finest male marathoner in the world, having won gold in both the Tokyo and Rio Olympics in 2016, and breaking the world record in the Berlin marathon in 2018. “Kipchoge: The Last Milestone,” a new documentary, gives an inside look at how he and his training group prepare for large races in Kaptagat.
Kipchoge and other Kenyan marathoners train near Kaptagat. Courtesy of the DDA Group/”The Last Milestone”
Kenyan runners attend Kaptagat, which is similar to a boarding school. Athletes spend Sundays with their families (Kipchoge only runs alone on Sundays), then spend the rest of the week at the camp training, eating, and sleeping together. Kipchoge has been training there since 2002, and he now serves as a leader and mentor to fellow marathoners who train with him under Patrick Sang’s guidance. The presence of Kipchoge in Kaptagat has attracted other great runners.
People are chosen for their mindsets when they are recruited to train at Kaptagat, according to Kipchoge. O ther coaches are looking for marathoners that have a positive attitude and value self-discipline and teamwork above everything else. Every marathoner in the camp, including Kipchoge, will be able to push the group to be better and faster as a result.
The marathoners at Kaptagat adhere to a strict schedule, which Kipchoge assists in establishing. Every Thursday is set aside for a long run – 18.6 miles (30 kilometers) or more. Strength and conditioning, core workouts, plyometrics, and speed training are included on other days, along with lots of ice baths and muscle massages for recovery.
Kipchoge covers a distance between 5,900 and 6,200 miles (9,500 to 10,000 kilometers) each year. His rest periods occur over the three weeks following a large race, which he uses to recuperate at home. Kipchoge made history in 2019 by being the first person to complete a marathon in under 2 hours, finishing in 1 hour, 59 minutes, and 40 seconds in Vienna, Austria. However, the event was created solely to assist Kipchoge in reaching the milestone, it did not constitute a new world record.
Kipchoge ran at a scorching 4:34 mile pace to run a sub-2-hour marathon. That required extreme mental fortitude as well as the ability to run through excruciating pain.
Eliud Kipchoge approaches the end of his sub-2-hour marathon in Vienna. Reuters
“I have a huge plan to inspire the youth, and inspire everybody in this world. I want to inspire Kenyans and make running the Kenyan lifestyle. I want to actually tell those people, those young people to respect the sport, or treat the sport like a profession. ….. So I want to tell the young people: please concentrate, be self-disciplined and above all respect the sport and make the sport a real profession,” the double Olympic marathon gold medallist told journalists at the airport. (The Tokyo Olympic Games)
He won by 80 seconds over Abdi Nageeye of the Netherlands, who came second. Belgium’s Bashir Abdi won bronze to round up the track and field at the Tokyo Olympics.
Kipchoge joins Abebe Bikila of Ethiopia and Waldemar Cierpinski as the third athlete to win multiple gold medals in the men’s marathon.