8 fun facts about Eliud Kipchoge, the greatest Marathoner ever ahead of his quest to become the first human to run a full marathon in under 2 hours

Eliud Kipchoge.
  • The Olympic marathon champion is in Vienna to attempt to become the first man to run the 42-kilometre distance in under two hours this weekend.
  • The challenge, dubbed “INEOS 1:59 Challeng’ and which has drawn global interest, is bankrolled by British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe.
  • On Wednesday, Kenya’s telecommunication firm, Safaricom, announced that its famous M-Pesa logo will change for the first time in 12 years in honour of Eliud Kipchoge.

The greatest Marathoner ever, Kenyan athlete Eliud Kipchoge, is about to take another stab at history.

The Olympic marathon champion is in Vienna to attempt to become the first man to run the 42-kilometre distance in under two hours this weekend.

Kipchoge, 34, is in a class of his own in global distance running, and sports critics believe he is the man to user human beings into a new era of what’s possible. 

“I’m hoping for the best. I will try my best to get 1:59,” he said before boarding the plane that took off shortly after 8pm to Vienna, Austria.

The challenge, dubbed “INEOS 1:59 Challeng’ and which has drawn global interest, is bankrolled by British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who runs chemical firm INEOS.

On Wednesday, Kenya’s telecommunication firm, Safaricom, announced that its famous M-Pesa logo will change for the first time in 12 years in honour of Eliud Kipchoge.

Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Michael Joseph said the logo "Eliud 1:59" will run for the next seven days to support Kipchoge in his challenge to become the first ever athlete to run a full marathon in under two hours.

Considering that, here are a few fun facts about Eliud Kipchonge, the greatest Marathoner ever.

The youngest of four children who grew up in Kapsisiywa, a small village in Nandi County has won nine of the 10 marathons he has entered.

He once wrote down a formula: Motivation + Discipline = Consistency

In his short film, Eliud, his breakfast with his teammates is tea and bread. The runner says, “It’s breakfast for Africans. We only have tea and bread. That’s enough.”

His personal best is 2 hours 1 minutes 39 seconds, which he ran at the 

Berlin Marathon in the "Breaking 2" project sponsored by Nike and documented so well by National Geographic in 2017.

Kipchoge is meticulous in his work. Since he began to take the sport seriously, he has recorded every workout in a notebook. He currently has 15 notebooks now, one for every year he has spent on the world stage. 

Kipchoge is the type of person who starts his sentences with words like ‘A wise man once said…’” 

The crevices on his cheeks also give him the appearance of someone older, lending him an air of hard-earned wisdom. 

He says stuff like: “Only the disciplined ones in life are free. If you are undisciplined, you are a slave to your moods and your passions.” And: “It’s not about the legs; it’s about the heart and the mind.” And: “The best time to plant a tree was 25 years ago. The second-best time to plant a tree is today.”

Kipchoge loves reading and his literary tastes range from Aristotle to sports biographies to self-help manuals. 

“The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” by Stephen R. Covey, is one of his favourites.

Whenever he reads — often in the library at his team’s training camp — he keeps a notebook handy so that he can take notes.

“When you write, then you remember,” Kipchoge said.

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