• Born on November 5, 1984, in Kapsisiywa, Nandi county, Kipchoge started honing his skills at Kaptel Secondary School. He ran three kilometres to school, daily.
• A while back, on October 12, 2019, the then Uasin Gishu County Deputy Governor Daniel Chemno promised to dedicate a street in honour of Kipchoge in Eldoret town.
Kenya’s marathon sensation Eliud Kipchoge has made the country proud again.
On Sunday, Kipchoge consolidated his status as the greatest marathoner of all time after decimating a rich field of competitors to storm his fifth Berlin Marathon title.
He is the only man to ever run a marathon under two hours (1:59:40) which he did in a more controlled environment in Vienna, Austria in 2019.
Kipchoge is the 2016 and 2020 Olympic marathon champion and the world record holder in the marathon with a time of 2:01:09 set at the 2022 Berlin Marathon. Besides, he has run five of the seven fastest marathons in history.
He has already vowed to stamp authority in France next year and a win in the quadrennial games will make him the first man to have ever won three consecutive Olympic marathon titles.
Born on November 5, 1984, in Kapsisiywa, Nandi county, Kipchoge started honing his skills at Kaptel Secondary School. He ran three kilometres to school, daily.
Kipchoge met his trainer Patrick Sang, a former Olympic medalist in the steeplechase, in 2001 when he was only 16 years old.
It is encouraging that the government has shown commitment to rewarding outstanding athletes. Only recently, President William Ruto unveiled a program to gift athletes who set world records as well as those who win the country medals.
The biggest beneficiary of the program so far is Kenyan middle-distance sensation Faith Kipyegon, who was gifted a posh house and millions of shillings after breaking world records in the women’s 1500m, mile and 5000m.
Kipchoge deserves more after blazing to five Berlin marathon titles and breaking the world record twice in the event.
He is bound to be a great inspiration to emerging generations of Kenyan athletes if his story is treated well enough and his achievements archived.
The reality is that there is nothing in the country to suggest that the nation holds Kipchoge in high esteem. The excitement that accompanies his victories usually subsides with time as his adoring fans wait for another opportunity to see him shine again.
Of course, Kipchoge already has an EGH (Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya) tagged to his name but that alone is not enough.
A while back, on October 12, 2019, the then Uasin Gishu County Deputy Governor Daniel Chemno promised to dedicate a street in honour of Kipchoge in Eldoret town.
This was after Kipchoge made history, becoming the first human to run a marathon race in less than two hours when he ran 1:59:40 at the INEOS challenge in Vienna, Austria.
Four years down the line, the promise remains unfulfilled. A similar promise was made on Sunday by the current Uasin Gishu Governor Jonathan Bii, who announced his commitment to dedicate a street in Eldoret in honour of Kipchoge’s remarkable athletic achievements.
Bii’s statement is a clear indication that Chemno never honoured his pledge to the nation.
While Kipchoge’s motherland is still toying with the idea of identifying a street in his honour, a unique piece of street art has been unveiled at the clubhouse of Berlin-based running club Berlin Braves, located at Wassertorstrasse 11 in the German capital. The street art shows Kipchoge in full stride.
The piece was produced by the Dutch artist Kamp Seedorf in close collaboration with Eliud Kipchoge’s professional running group, NN Running Team, and the team’s management Global Sports Communication.
The government should find ways of recognising Kipchoge’s marvelous achievements. The country does not come across athletes of his ilk so frequently.