This is a wonderful piece by Justin Lagat on the enormous contribution of Eliud KIpchoge to our sport.
Your editor (that is me, Larry Eder) first saw Eliud in 2003 in the St. Denis stadium in Paris, France, attacking with 200m to go and overcoming Hicham El Guerrouj and Kenenisa Bekele. If you find the YouTube video, you will note that the British announcement did not give the 18-year-old Kenyan much of a chance.
I have been in all of his Olympic performances in the stadium, except Tokyo. His humanity, his love of the sport, and how he is adored by the fans is pretty amazing.
Tomorrow, 24 September 2023, Eliud KIpchoge will make history in Berlin, whether he sets a WR or not.
Perhaps, to add a little more weight to the fact that it will be utterly impossible for any other human being to outdo his legendary achievements, the greatest marathon runner ever to set foot on our planet will be coming back for a fifth title on the streets of Berlin, where he set two world records before, this Sunday, the 24th of September.
With all that he has achieved so far in marathon running and the fact that everyone should now be fully convinced that he is the Greatest of All Time (the GOAT), it is intriguing to see what more Eliud Kipchoge aims to achieve.
Eliud Kipchoge, 25 September 2022, BMW Berlin Marathon, photo by NN Running
Training for a marathon takes a lot of hard work and sacrifices. Running the marathon itself is often brutal. In all the marathons I have ever done, I can hardly remember any that I didn’t swear never to run the next one. Most runners often go through the same soul-searching questions mid-way through their marathon races and are not sure whether they will be running another marathon again in their lives.
But here is a man who has achieved seemingly everything that can ever be achieved by a human being in the marathon. He is the first and only one to run under two hours for the distance and has remained the best marathon runner for almost ten years now. He already has ten victories in the World Marathon Majors and two Olympic victories, among others.
Why would he continue to wake up early in the cold mornings each day to train? Will any position he takes at the Berlin Marathon this weekend affect his status as the greatest of all-time marathon runners?
Eliud Kipchoge training, in Kenya, photo by NN Running team
Considering all the above, Kipchoge is no longer interested in achieving anything for himself but rather in motivating others in different sectors of life to believe that everything is possible in whatever they set their minds to do. Not only is Kipchoge handing out bracelets with “No human is limited,” he is also walking the talk by demonstrating that.
The main inspiration that comes out of Kipchoge is his longevity in maintaining an illustrious career in running since he won the 5000m senior world title in 2003. More than twenty years later, he is still at the top of his career.
Eliud Kipchoge takes a win at BMW Berlin, photo by NN Running team
All these have happened because of his ability to remain disciplined, focused, and consistent in his training.
“Only the disciplined ones in life are free. If you are undisciplined, you are a slave to your moods and your passions,” this is one of Kipchoge’s favorite quotes.
Another quote speaks about his seriousness in preparing for his upcoming marathon races, which should not differ from the upcoming Berlin Marathon. “When you plan and prepare very well, then success can come on the way. Then winning can come on your way.”
We should expect and look forward to another inspiring run by Kipchoge this weekend in Berlin.
Eliud Kipchoge, photo by NN Running Team