Eliud Kipchoge, the Worlds Greatest Marathoner, Breaks the INEOS 1:59 Challenge. Born on the 5th of November 1984, in Nandi County, he is a father of three children with his wife, Grace Sugutt. At the age of 34 and weighing 57 kgs, Kipchoge has inspired a whole generation by creating a historic moment right before our eyes with the INEOS 1:59 Challenge.

1% of the whole team is more important than 100% of yourself. Without teamwork you can not go anywhere. – Eliud Kipchoge #Eliud159 #INEOS159 #NoHumanIsLimited Click To Tweet

Who on Earth is Eliud Kipchoge?

It is not about the legs, it is about the heart and mind. – Eliud Kipchoge #Eliud159 #INEOS159 #NoHumanIsLimited Click To Tweet

What sets him apart is a deep seated philosophy  that Running is not just for athletics sake, it is a way of life. As the worlds greatest marathon runner of all time, Eliud Kipchoge inspires millions of fans around the world; but who is Eliud Kipchoge?

3 Times Olympic Medallist, 3 times Athletics World Champion Medallist, 8 times World Marathon Majors Gold Medalist. Unbeaten marathoner since 2013. Kipchoge holds the men’s marathon world record with a time of 2hr 01min 39sec, which he set in Berlin on September 16, 2018.

Eliud Kipchoge has an estimated net worth of $10 million dollars he chooses to live a life that is low-profile and modest in Eldoret. He lives in a small sized house with his wife and three children. He is also responsible for completing numerous household chores ranging from mopping his floors to cleaning the toilet. Kipchoge drives a basic car and spends a lot of his time with local people in his village there’s really nothing on the surface that would suggest he is a dollar millionaire.

Only the disciplined ones are free in life. If you are undisciplined, you are a slave to your emotions and your passions. – Eliud Kipchoge #Eliud159 #INEOS159 #NoHumanIsLimited Click To Tweet

How to pronounce Eliud Kipchoge’s name: Eliud (L-yud) Kipchoge (Keep-chore-geh)

10 Inspirational Quotes by Eliud Kipchoge

Philosophies and quotes that have made Eliud Kipchoge the greatest marathon runner of all time.

Don’t be the fastest runner in the world. Be the fastest in history. - Eliud Kipchoge
Don’t be the fastest runner in the world. Be the fastest in history. – Eliud Kipchoge
  1. To be successful in sports is not a chance. It is a choice. If you want to be successful, you need to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to go there.. – Eliud Kipchoge
  2. Success comes with more sacrifice. You sacrifice more, you get more success. You sacrifice little, you get little success.. – Eliud Kipchoge
  3. Life is like climbing a tree. You hold one branch and aim for the next one. You have to forget the last branch and focus your thoughts and mind on the next for you to make progress. – Eliud Kipchoge
  4. 1% of the whole team is more important than 100% of yourself. Without teamwork you can not go anywhere. – Eliud Kipchoge
  5. You live simple, you train hard, you live and honest life. Then you are free. – Eliud Kipchoge
  6. Only the disciplined ones are free in life. If you are undisciplined, you are a slave to your emotions and your passions. – Eliud Kipchoge
  7. Focus and determination and also hope can take you somewhere. You can go beyond any limit. – Eliud Kipchoge
  8. It is not about the legs, it is about the heart and mind. – Eliud Kipchoge
  9. Only the disciplined ones in life are free – Eliud Kipchoge
  10. Don’t be the fastest runner in the world. Be the fastest in history. – Eliud Kipchoge
Focus and determination and also hope can take you somewhere. You can go beyond any limit. – Eliud Kipchoge #Eliud159 #INEOS159 #NoHumanIsLimited Click To Tweet
Eliud Kipchoge and his Pacemakers
Eliud Kipchoge and his Pacemakers

Eliud Kipchoge and a Series of Failures:

  • Since 2004 to 2012 Eliud Kipchoge struggled to recapture the magic of his 2003 season.
  • As expected, it has not always been a way in the park. It took Kipchoge 10 years to realise his full marathon potential, even after beating two of the worlds greatest marathoners: Hicham El Guerrouj from Morocco and Kenenisa Bekele from Ethiopia.
  • In 2004 at the Olympic Games in Athens Eliud Kipchoge faced off against Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia but did not have the finishing speed to match his opponents.
  • In 2007 Kipchoge came second in the 5000 meter world championship final, finishing behind bernard langat who outsprinted him over the final 50 meters.
  • In 2008 during the Olympic 5000 meter final in Beijing, ChinaKipchoge again finished second. This time finishing behind his long term rival, Kenenisa Bekele who ran a superb final 400 meters to win the gold medal.
  • Moving forward to 2012 Kipchoge was aiming to make his third consecutive Olympic team, but only managed to place seventh at the Kenyan Olympic Trials therefore he would not join his fellow Kenyans at the London Olympic Games. Although Kipchoge was still one of the greatest distance runners in the world, another championship gold medal eluded him.
Don’t be the fastest runner in the world. Be the fastest in history. – Eliud Kipchoge #Eliud159 #INEOS159 #NoHumanIsLimited Click To Tweet

Mo Farah vs Eliud Kipchoge at Two Mile UK Indoor 2012

Eliud Kipchoge sets world record with Streak of Wins:

In spite of a 10 year series of failure, 2012 would indeed be a pivotal year in Eliud Kipchoge’s career as he would embark on a new challenge that would forever change his distance running career. Looking back at those years, it was not quite failure but training for the impossible.

  • Eliud Kipchoge started by breaking the spell of failure through his debut in the half marathon with a running time of 59 minutes and 25 seconds. That was the second fastest debut half marathon in history.
  • In 2013 Kipchoge made his debut in the marathon by winning the Hamburg marathon with a time of 2 hours 5 minutes and 30 seconds. In this race, Kipchoge defeated the field by more than two minutes and set a new course record in the process.
  • Later that year, he ran the Berlin Marathon and came second with a new personal best time of two hours four minutes and five seconds. The only athlete finishing ahead of him was fellow Kenyan Wilson Kipsang, who set a new world record time of 2 hours 3 minutes and 23 seconds. 
  • Given that this was only his second marathon ever, Kipchoge displayed an incredible amount of endurance and racing maturity. With a 2 hour and 4 minute performance, this was the fifth fastest marathon in history and although this performance was indeed excellent nobody was prepared for what would happen over the next six years.
  • In 2014 Kipchoge would win the Rotterdam marathon in two hours and five minutes flat followed soon after by a confident win at the Chicago Marathon in two hours four minutes and 11 seconds.
  • Moving into 2015 Kipchoge would win the London Marathon in two hours four minutes and 42 seconds, followed by his first victory at the Berlin Marathon in two hours and four minutes flat.
  • In 2016 Kipchoge would again win the London Marathon in two hours three minutes and five seconds. This was followed by a fantastic win at the Olympic Games where he won in a time of 2 hours 8 minutes and 44 seconds.
  • Coming to 2017 Kipchoge was placed first in the breaking 2 project with a miraculous time of 2 hours and 25 seconds followed by a courageous victory in the Berlin Marathon in 2 hours 3 minutes and 32 seconds.
  • In 2018 Kipchoge continued his dominance with another win the London Marathon in two hours four minutes in 17 seconds. Late in September of 2018, catching a broken world record by running a time of 2 hours 1 minute and 39 seconds improving the previous mark of Dennis cameto by one minute and 18 seconds.
  • Moving into 2019, Kipchoge placed first in the London Marathon with a superb time of 2 hours 2 minutes and 37 seconds which broke the course record.

By this point, Kipchoge had redefined the meaning of consistency by going undefeated over the marathon distance for six straight years in a distance typically riddled with injuries and countless racing difficulties Kipchoge somehow always follows through with a fantastic performance.

Berlin and London marathon champion, 2-03 marathoner Emmanuel Mutai, and world cross country and half marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor all train in Kaptagat
Berlin and London marathon champion, 2-03 marathoner Emmanuel Mutai, and world cross country and half marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor all train in Kaptagat

Worlds Greatest Marathoner Attempts to Break INEOS 1:59 Challenge

Eliud Kipchoge has been virtually untouchable over the marathon distance. Out of his 11 international marathons he has won ten of them. In his most recent marathon performance Kipchoge shattered the previous world record by running a time of 2 hours 1 minute in 39 seconds at the 2018 Berlin Marathon.

His average speed was 13mph, an average pace of 2.83 minutes-per-kilometre for each kilometre of the 42.195km race. To break that down further, he ran every 400m in 68.8 seconds. He covered 30km in 1:26:45, also the fastest time ever recorded for that distance.

As Kipchoge says in one of his most famous quotes:

Don’t be the fastest runner in the world. Be the fastest in history.

Eliud Kipchoge

This performance left the running world in complete awe as Eliud Kipchoge broke the previous record by a staggering 1 minute in 18 seconds. Eliud Kipchoge incredible running ability is the product of intense physical training a strict simple lifestyle and mental toughness.

Considered the greatest marathon runner the event has witnessed, 34-year-old Eliud Kipchoge claimed gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics
Considered the greatest marathon runner the event has witnessed, 34-year-old Eliud Kipchoge claimed gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics

What is the INEOS 1:59 Challenge?

The sub two-hour marathon is the last great barrier of modern athletics. Eliud Kipchoge, the world’s greatest marathon runner, will attempt to break the two-hour barrier in the INEOS 1:59 Challenge, a special marathon being run between late September and early October 2019. The event will be supported and managed by INEOS.

It is all scheduled to go down on Saturday, October 12, in Vienna, Austria, where Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya will try to go sub-two hours in a special event called the INEOS 1:59 Challenge. World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge’s attempt to run a sub two-hour marathon has been set for Saturday at 9:15am Kenyan Time in Prater park, a landmark part of the Vienna City Marathon.

The exact start time was decided on Friday afternoon by the “Performance and Meteorology” teams, based on their predictions of the optimal weather conditions.

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge takes selfies with fans after winning the Berlin Marathon and breaking the World Record. [REUTERS-Fabrizio Bensch]
Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge takes selfies with fans after winning the Berlin Marathon and breaking the World Record. [REUTERS-Fabrizio Bensch]

Is the INEOS 1:59 Challenge Possible?

Some would claim that the two-hour marathon is an inevitable progression of the sport of athletics, akin to the once impenetrable barrier of the four-minute mile.

However, many would argue that this is a much more formidable obstacle, one that is at odds with human physiology. This was the case, until in May 2017, Nike staged the Breaking2 project in Monza, Italy. Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya came so close to achieving just that. What many

Eliud Kipchoge crosses the winning line at the London Marathon CREDIT- GETTY IMAGES
Eliud Kipchoge crosses the winning line at the London Marathon CREDIT- GETTY IMAGES

regarded as a moon shot, the combination of Eliud’s extraordinary talent, strength and mental fortitude, with Nike’s technology and their legion of exercise scientists, came so close to culminating in an achievement that so many regarded as futuristic, if not impossible.

The Science of How Nike Nearly Cracked the Two-Hour Marathon

Runners have been trying to break through the 2 hour marathon mark for decades. Here’s the incredible science behind how Eliud Kipchoge came within 25 seconds in Nike’s Breaking2 project. 

What Does It Take To Run A SUB 2 HOUR MARATHON? Eliud Kipchoge’s 1:59 challenge

Running a two hour marathon is practically impossible no matter how much Kipchoge makes it look effortless. His style has been studied by educationists and scientists alike to understand what makes him so different:

STRATEGIC STRIDE: A look at his stride, posture and mentality says it all. Eliud Kipchoge has a balanced trademark stride that is defined by a somehow perfect foot-fall, that lands directly underneath his center body mass. His foot also falls flat upon impact with the ground, thus avoiding any potential heel strike and keeping his momentum moving forward.

BALANCED ARM SWING: Lastly Kipchoge has a super relaxed and very balanced arm swing which is perfectly timed with the remainder of his body. Like a cheetah’s streamlined body, there is almost no weaknesses in his structure and how it blends with his stride.

Marathon champ new shoe
Marathon champ new shoe

FOCUSED MIND: However the most powerful asset in Kipchoge’s running arsenal might just be his mind. The focus and determination is without doubt one of the most important factors to his distance running success. Despite having a net worth of $10 million dollars, Eliud Kipchoge lives a very disciplined life isolated away from various worldly distractions. All for one simple purpose to run faster.

STRICT TRAINING SCHEDULE: Eliud Kipchoge is the man who ran 2:00:25 at the Nike Sub2 Project in early May 2017. A monday for Eliud Kipchoge involves 2 runs, totalling between 26 and 33km (16-20 miles), with the morning run at a decent pace (moderate effort) and the afternoon run at almost a jog.

Eliud Kipchoge Nike Shoes Chicago Marathon 2019 Next
Eliud Kipchoge Nike Shoes Chicago Marathon 2019 Next

Why Kipchoge’s INEOS 1:59 Challenge won’t count as world record?

Some fine tuning has been done by optimising factors known to affect running performance like temperature, elevation, nutrition even the turns in the course all of which when added together probably had a pretty big impact. Here are some of the strategies Kipchoge has used to ensure he wins the INEOS 1:59 Challenge:

  1. Special Running Shoes
  2. Health – Nutrition and Mentality:
  3. Supporting Pacemakers
  4. Intensive Training:
  5. Location – Vienna, Austria
  6. Race Track or Course
Eliud Kipchoge plans to break two-hour marathon in October ...
Eliud Kipchoge plans to break two-hour marathon in October …

1. Special Running Shoes:

The first time Kipchoge chased the sub-two-hour marathon, he did it wearing a special edition of Nike’s Vaporfly 4%, a shoe the company claimed could make runners 4 percent more efficient on their feet. In the past two years, peer-reviewed studies and analyses by WIRED and The New York Times have confirmed that, for many runners, the shoes perform as advertised.

What shoes does Eliud Kipchoge train in? Nike and long-distance Eliud Kipchoge embarked on the Breaking2 journey.

With the Swoosh brand’s innovative spirit and the tireless legs of the long-distance runner, Breaking2’s final goal was the break the two hour mark – a first ever for a marathon.

If you’ve paid close attention to the shoe worn during Eliud Kipchoge’s training for this weekend’s INEOS 1:59 challenge, it’s clear that it’s far beyond the NEXT% that our Turkey Trot asses wear on race day.

Kapsabet and Nandi Hills are convenient running distance from each other, so they serve as one large training area
Kapsabet and Nandi Hills are convenient running distance from each other, so they serve as one large training area

2. Health – Nutrition and Mentality:

Besides his physical gift, Kipchoge has an extraordinary cognitive perception. In spite of Eliud Kipchoge being the best marathon runner in the world, his mental influence on everyone around him is contagious.

Eliud Kipchoges nutrition is not too special and may actually sound basic and boring. He starts his day with Sweet milky tea and bread, then main meals like lunch and dinner are mostly Ugali (Maize meal mix), meat stew and Managu (local spinach like greens).

However, for the marathon he has been working with a sports nutrition company that has prepared a special hydrogel technology. This science based diet will have him take 100 grams of carbohydrates per hour. This is quite a lot and would probably cause digestion issues when taken on a normal basis.

Eliud Kipchoge Talks the Future of Running - Highsnobiety
Eliud Kipchoge Talks the Future of Running – Highsnobiety

3. Supporting Pacemakers:

Assisted with a team of 41 handpicked pacemakers. Swapping in and out to help Eliud keep pace. That is why this attempt went count as a world record. The pacemakers are very important because it is mentally fatiguing to keep your own pace especially during long and gruelling marathons such as the INEOS 1:59 Challenge.

The pacemakers help you focus bay taking away the task of thinking about and maintaining your pace. There are also scientific reasons behind this such as helping to reduce the wind an air suction on the main runner. Based on the speed and direction of the wind, the pacemakers have different formations to have the greatest benefit for the main runner.

4. Intensive Training:

Kipchoge has been trained by the same man , Patrick Sang throught his entire running Career.

All his training is one in a specific location in Kenya called Captagon, which has an altitude of 2,400 meters and is mainly on dirt roads.

This is a little too harsh as compared to the standard marathon races so the actual competition tends to be a breeze compared to the training.

Eliud Kipchoge will face the best conditions yet in his upcoming attempt to run a marathon in less than two hours.PHOTOGRAPH- INEOS 1-59 CHALLENGE
Eliud Kipchoge will face the best conditions yet in his upcoming attempt to run a marathon in less than two hours.PHOTOGRAPH- INEOS 1-59 CHALLENGE

5. Location – Vienna, Austria

  • TIME DIFFERENCE FROM KENYA: Kipchoge wanted a place that is within 3 hours the time zone of Kenya.
  • ALTITUDE AND WEATHER CONDITION: In October, the average temperature in Vienna, Austria is 10 degrees delicious which is ideal conditions for running.
  • RELATIVELY FLAT COURSE: The selected course is 90% flat and straight with round about at either end to limit slowing down and time lost at the turns.

6. Race Track or Course:

A flat course is generally preferable to one with a lot of ups and downs consider the Berlin Marathon it only has a handful of sharp corners and it’s flatter than a lot of other big city marathons like London or New York these qualities make Berlin a very fast course on average elite runners finish 81 seconds quicker in Berlin than they do at other races which probably explains why every marathon world record in the last 15 years has been set in Germany.

For instance the more corners a course fas and the sharper they are the more times a runner has to slow down or take longer route which adds up to valuable seconds over the course of a race. At Monza it’s even flatter than Berlin and has no sharp corners in fact the big sweeping curves at Monza ensured that Kipchoge and the other runners were always running the fastest shortest route possible the looped course also made it easier to deliver nutrition to the runners at regular intervals along the run.

Only the disciplined ones in life are free - Eliud Kipchoge
Only the disciplined ones in life are free – Eliud Kipchoge

7 Best Places for Athletics Training in Kenya

Eldoret is also known for its wide array of soft running surfaces. Here is a list of 7 Best Places for Training in Kenya according to Enda Stories:

Any discussion of training in Kenya has to start with Iten.

It’s the preferred choice for many because of the large community of runners and range of accommodation choices. There are the low cost single rooms with outside pit latrines and shared bathrooms, guest houses that provided a bit more comfort, and comfortable choices like the Kerio View Hotel and Lornah’s High Altitude Training Centre for those who can afford them.

Iten: Any discussion of training in Kenya has to start with Iten.

It’s the preferred choice for many because of the large community of runners and range of accommodation choices. There are the low cost single rooms with outside pit latrines and shared bathrooms, guest houses that provided a bit more comfort, and comfortable choices like the Kerio View Hotel and Lornah’s High Altitude Training Centre for those who can afford them.

Kapsait: higher altitude, rainy conditions do not affect training

During rainy days, it is almost impossible to train in Iten because the roads get so muddy, and many established camps at times have to use vehicles to carry their athletes to other areas for training. In Kapsait, which is situated at a much higher altitude, rainy conditions do not affect training much because of the type of soil offers better natural drainage. So if you’re training in March or November, this is a great choice to avoid rainy season spoiling your runs.

Kaptagat: Cross country and half marathon champion

Kaptagat: Berlin and London marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge, 2:03 marathoner Emmanuel Mutai, and world cross country and half marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor all train in Kaptagat. And if that’s not enough of an endorsement, many of the top sports management groups including Pace Sports Management, Global Sports Management, and Dr. Rosa and Associati also have their camps in Kaptagat.

Eldoret: Great food, and the best night-clubs in Kenya

Eldoret: The big city offers a range of accommodation options, great food, and the best night-clubs in Kenya (if for some reason dancing is part of your training plan). Unlike the smaller towns it takes some effort to find a group. The training groups around Eldoret town are usually smaller and are found in different estates.

Kapseret: Has flat and soft ground courses that are ideal for track runners.

Kapseret: Situated between Eldoret and Mosoriot, Kapseret has flat and soft ground courses that are ideal for track runners. Being only about 10km from either Eldoret or Mosoriot, the athletes training here have the option to go for their track workouts in either of the places.

What Does It Take To Run A SUB 2 HOUR MARATHON- Eliud Kipchoge's 1-59 challenge
What Does It Take To Run A SUB 2 HOUR MARATHON- Eliud Kipchoge’s 1-59 challenge

World holds breath as Eliud Kipchoge is at the Brink of History

I don’t know if you people really feel the weight of what Kipchoge is up to which he carries with pure, unadulterated humility. If you are a Kenyan, you should already be having butterflies in your stomach.

In fact, if we were a civilized society, over one thousand of us would have already arrived in Vienna, Austria so Eliud can see the big noses of the Luo, the sunken eyes of fellow Kalenjin, the blank faces of the Maasai, l mean the real faces of fellow Kenyans as he takes the turns.

What this means for you in Kenya?

If you don’t know what this means for you in Kenya, let me tell you what it means for others:

  1. A lady from Spain last month booked nearly a plane full of her friends, landed in JKIA then took another flight to Eldoret. Her mission? She went to tell Eliud that she loved him. And wished him well. That she came to encourage him. That he is the greatest man she will ever know.  And that she will stand in Vienna, with her friends all the way from Spain to shout his name as he takes the bend.
  2. One of the richest men in Britain, Billionaire Sir Tom Ratcliffe, told Eliud l will send my private jet worth Kshs.1.4 billion to pick you, your family and your staff from your hometown of Eldoret. Don’t go any other way. The Gulfstream G280.
  3. Billionaires have placed bets worth billions to hand to Eliud. If it happens.
  4. In Austria everybody is gathering their families so they are together to witness history, when it happens.

Because this will be the first human to achieve this feat. If it happens. Because for only the second time since he was born, Eliud will not be competing against fellow humans but against the clock. Against time.

Already a prominent American has so confidently said, ‘It can’t happen. If it does he will die.’ Because he needs to run more than 7 metres per second to pull this. 

Me and you can only hold our breath and wait! As Winston Churchill would say, ‘Never has so much been owed by so many to so few.’

I leave you with the words of the legend himself Eliud Kipchoge:

“In life, the idea is to be happy. So, I believe in calm, simple, low-profile life. You live simple, you train hard and live an honest life. Then you are free.”