After winning last Sunday’s Berlin Marathon, Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge will now embark on a promotional tour of Asia as his shoe sponsors Nike seek to ride on his success to market their running collection.
Kipchoge, 32, won the BMW-sponsored Berlin Marathon for the second time on Sunday in two hours, three minutes and 32 seconds in a race where he, Tokyo Marathon champion Wilson Kipsang and defending champion Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia were chasing Dennis Kimetto’s world record of 2:02:57.
But despite falling short of the world record due to overnight rains that saw humidity levels rise to over 90 percent, Kipchoge, also the 2003 world 5,000 metres champion, established himself as one of the greatest distance runners of all time.
“This weekend’s Berlin Marathon cemented Eliud’s place as one of the world’s greatest marathoners and we congratulate him on his success,” Nike’s global communications director in charge of running and the Olympics Ilana Finley told Nation Sport.
“Eliud represents everything that Nike stands for and everything that we are. Nike was founded as a running company and our passion for pushing the boundaries of sport is core to our DNA. Everything we do starts with the voice of the athlete. Eliud, and all the athletes we work with, serve as a guiding light for how we solve problems for runners around the world and keep us focused our goal of pushing human potential,” Finley added.
Last May, Kipchoge was the central figure in Nike’s “Breaking2” project in which he attempted to become the first human being to run the marathon in under two hours.
He fell just 26 seconds short, clocking 2:00:25 in the special race at Italy’s Monza Formula One racing circuit.
“He has shown that barriers are designed to be broken and our potential is only limited by our imagination,” Filney said.
After Kipchoge’s win in Berlin, Nike rebranded their stores to celebrate the Kenyan.
“As part of a special release in connection with Eliud’s epic run on Sunday, 100 pairs of the Nike Air Zoom Vaporfly Elite (shoes) were made available to consumers in Germany,” Finley noted.
She said the Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4 %, used in this year’s Boston marathon, is available to consumers globally.