Double Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge won’t be on the starting line of this year’s London Marathon. The 37-year-old Kenyan set a new world record at the Berlin Marathon in Germany last weekend and is the man of the moment ahead of the weekend’s iconic race in the English capital.
Kipchoge first won the London Marathon in 2015, but after an heroic effort to set a new world record of two hours, one minute and nine seconds in Berlin – he has opted not to compete this year, but will be attending the event to help inspire the next generation.
The Kenyan’s new world record is 30 seconds faster than his own time set four years earlier also in Berlin. His historical triumph in Germany means Kipchoge has now won 15 of his 17 career marathons including two Olympic golds and 10 major titles. Only two major marathon titles have eluded him during his career with Boston one of those taking place in April.
The marathon star’s new world record isn’t the fastest he has ran after he became the first athlete to run the 26.2-mile (42-kilometre) distance in under two hours three years ago in Vienna. However, it was not deemed as an official marathon world record because it was not an open event and he had a team of rotating pacemakers.
Last year the Kenyan had a disappointing performance at the London Marathon finishing eighth – blaming a blocked ear for his result. Kipchoge has opted to sit out today’s event but was in London presenting medals to winners at the TCS Mini London Marathon on Saturday. The 2.6km event for the next generation of runners finished on the Mall the day before the London Marathon.
“I really support the initiative of the TCS London Marathon to promote running at all ages,” said Kipchoge. “I like running to be a family activity since running is life. It will bring joy, happiness and health to our children, who are the future, so let’s all embrace this.”
Hugh Brasher, event director of the TCS London Marathon said: “It was the most incredible performance by Eliud Kipchoge (in Berlin). He’s an ambassador for the TCS Mini London Marathon. He spoke eloquently, he’s the most incredible man.
“He’s talked about inspiration, inspiring children. Inspiring the next generation. It’s an odd phrase, but he really is the GOAT of marathon and endurance running.”