World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge was yesterday honoured as the United Nations Person of the Year 2018.
The United Nations body paid tribute to his positive role modelling to the youth to embrace the values of hard work, discipline, focus and dedication to achieve the greatness they are capable of.
Widely acknowledged as arguably the greatest marathoner of all time, Kipchoge recently smashed the world record by 1 minute 18 seconds at the Berlin Marathon to clock 2:01.39, bettering the previous mark of 2:02.57 held by fellow Kenyan Dennis Kimetto.
It is Kipchoge’s perseverance and steadfast resolve to put in the hard work needed that moved the UN in Kenya to make him the 16th recipient of the Award.
Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary, Ambassador Monica Juma, who was the chief guest at the ceremony, lauded Kipchoge for winning the award. “I congratulate Eliud Kipchoge on this great achievement and I have no doubt you will take advantage of this opportunity to showcase the values that are indispensable to the kind of success that you now enjoy,” said Juma.
In celebration of the United Nations Day, which is been observed on October 24, the UN in Kenya has awarded and recognised individuals who best represent the ideals of the world body every year since 2002. Accepting the Award, Kipchoge warned the youth against the temptation of expecting a big break that will set them on the path of fame and fortune.
“It takes extreme effort and many years to reduce one’s time even by five seconds when running. Lasting achievements are based on small increments in doing the right thing,” said Olympic champion, who has won all but one of his races since venturing into marathon running. The Person of the Year Award was last year won by Ms Umra Omar of Safari Doctors, who was recognized for her work in delivering primary health care to marginalised communities in her home county of Lamu.
Other past recipients include First Lady Margaret Kenyatta for her Beyond Zero Campaign and three-time World Half-Marathon champion. Tegla Loroupe for her peace initiative banditry prone region of the Rift Valley.