World Marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge has said that it’s now possible to run a marathon under two hours in normal conditions.
Kipchoge, who is also the Olympic Marathon champion said that if he can’t do it then there are many other equally good long distance runners who can achieve that.
Kipchoge made history as the first man to run a marathon under two hours when he clocked 1:59:40 at the “Ineos 1:59 Challenge” on October 12 in Vienna, Austria.
Kipchoge’s time was not recognised as a world marathon record since it was not a World Athletics (WA) certified and rated course.
“I don’t believe in limits. It’s quite possible to run under two hours in a normal race. In any case, there were no major difference on conditions in Vienna and other normal races,” said Kipchoge.
“The distance and the person running are the same. It possible to have good pacesetters in a normal marathon,” said Kipchoge, noting that legendary Briton athlete Roger Bannister ran the first sub four-minute mile 65 years ago when everyone thought it was impossible.
Kipchoge noted that after Bannister won the race at the Oxford AAA Team, Oxford, Britain in 3:59.40 on May 6, 1954, 14 athletes also ran under four minutes within two weeks.
“What I have done is to open the doors to others and I expect the next generation of athletes to run a marathon under two hours if not me.
“We for sure have many athletes who can run faster than me. They say if you are a star, you make people around you look good hence there are many people I train with who are perfect for that job,” said Kipchoge.
Kipchoge was speaking at Karura Forest on Saturday where Isuzu East Africa presented him with Isuzu Single Cabin vehicle worth Sh 4.1 million as a reward for his exploits during the "Ineos 159 Challenge.
Isuzu East Africa chairman Eisaku Akazawa, who was accompanied by his managing director Rita Kavashe, presented Kipchoge with the vehicle.
Kipchoge had earlier on his Facebook page hinted about defending his London Marathon and Olympic Marathon titles next year, but added he would make a final decision after one month.
“I have had one month of recovery and I have just started building up with some gym sessions.
“Will confirm fully when training has picked to the right level,” he said.
Akazawa hailed Kipchoge for his exploits saying he was a major inspiration to many in the world.
“I really want to invite him to our factory in Japan so that he can talk to our other employees and inspire them in their work,” said Akazawa.
“What Kipchoge has achieved isn’t through magic, but hard work, discipline and consistency.”
Before the presentation, Kipchoge, who was accompanied by his wife Grace and three children, took an estimated 200 participants including schoolchildren, through a 4km race at the forest.
Present were his coach Patrick Sang, training partner Geoffrey Kamworor, who is fresh from winning the New York City Marathon, Sally Chepyego, who finished third in Berlin Marathon and 2015 world 3,000m women’s steeplechase champion Hyvin Kiyeng.