Eliud Kipchoge: Money not behind stab at record marathon

Thursday May 9 2019

World Marathon Record Holder Eliud Kipchoge leaves the Ole Sereni Hotel on May 8, 2019 after a Breakfast held in his honour by Isuzu. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

World Marathon Record Holder Eliud Kipchoge leaves the Ole Sereni Hotel on May 8, 2019 after a Breakfast held in his honour by Isuzu. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

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Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge says his move to skip the World Championships and make a second attempt at running a marathon under two hours is spurred by the urge to test the human body and not the money involved.

On Monday, Kipchoge announced he will be involved in another go at “breaking two” in a specially organised race, probably in London, “between late September and early October.”

In the first attempt of the Nike-engineered “Breaking2” project, Kipchoge, 35, powered by a cocktail of pacemakers on the Monza Formula One racetrack, ran two hour and 25 seconds, falling agonisingly close to breaking the two-hour barrier on May 6, 2017.

This time around, the race dubbed “INEOS 1:59 Challenge” will be funded by one of the richest men in England, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the founder of chemical manufacturing company INEOS.

“My team doesn’t put money in front and for sure it’s not about business and money involved.” said Kipchoge, the marathon world record holder, who declined to state how much he will be paid in compensation.

“The sponsor, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, loves sports and wants me to try it again. It is always good to challenge myself and the world. It’s good to make history, it’s good to leave a memorable mark in athletics, “added Kipchoge. “There is nothing impossible in this world and that is why I want to erase the notion that no human being is limited.”

Kipchoge set a new marathon world record last year in Berlin when he triumphed in two hours, one minute and 39 seconds and would run the second fastest time after his record, when winning this year’s London Marathon in two hours, two minutes and 37 seconds on April 28.

Kipchoge, who was speaking after being feted by Isuzu East Africa at Ole Sereni Hotel, Nairobi Wednesday morning said it’s his dream to have athletics as the number one sport in the country.

“Running is where the freedom is and I want everyone to wake up every morning just to run. When you run you think positively,” said Kipchoge, the Isuzu Ambassador adding that he will unveil his next plan after the “INEOS 1:59 Challenge”.

Kipchoge termed the new rule on hyperandrogenism that seeks to restrict testosterone levels among female runners as complicated.

Three Kenyan athletes Olympic 8000m bronze medallist Margaret Nyairera and 400m sprinters Maximilla Imali and Evangeline Makena are some of Kenyan athletes affected by the new rule on hyperandrogenism rule.

On Tuesday, Nyairera, who has criticised the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) and IAAF over last week’s ruling against South Africa’s Caster Semenya, said she had undergone testosterone tests as instructed but she is yet to get the results.

“I have no knowledge about it and I can only leave it to the people who know since there is a lot of science involved,” said Kipchoge, who also termed the rampant doping scourge in the country as unfortunate.

“I am still running and it beats me why some of my colleagues have resorted to dope doping yet they have natural talent. People must run in a clean way and clean environment.”

Isuzu EA Managing Director Rita Kavashe said that Kipchoge’s historic fourth London win had showcased values that are intrinsic to the Isuzu brand.