Kipchoge braced up for sub-two-hour marathon quest

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge celebrates after winning the Men's Marathon athletics event of the Rio 2016 Olympic ...
Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge celebrates after winning the Men's Marathon athletics event of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Sambodromo in Rio de Janeiro on August 21, 2016. OLIVIER MORIN / AFP

Olympic and two-time London Marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge believes he has what it takes to achieve one of running’s most formidable barriers; breaking the two-hour marathon mark.

The 31-year old is part of a three-man team made up of the finest distance runners as selected by sponsors Nike to achieve the sub-two-hour marathon in a yet to be announced course in May this year.

Along with the former 5000m world champion, the company has recruited Zersenay Tadese, the half-marathon world-record holder from Eritrea and Ethiopian Lelisa Desisa, a two-time Boston Marathon champion for the ambitious plan dubbed Breaking2.

Kipchoge, voted the 2016 Male Sports Personality of the Year during the recently annual SOYA awards, believes what seemed to be an impossible quest at the time of its conception is a palpable mission.

“I believe in myself, I’m in the project and believe that everything is possible. To many it appears impossible but with the kind of work and commitment we have put in it, I can see it happen more than I could before.

“For the next four months I will be really putting more effort, doing what must be done to make it happen,” Kipchoge told Citizen Digital.

Kipchoge is drawing inspiration from his rise from a relatively lowly celebrated track and field racing career to a marathon world beater.

“Looking back when I was transiting from track and field to the road I didn’t expect much but what we see today are fruits of hard work. May be even pundits would have given me little chances then as most are doing in this venture, but I have learnt with proper focus impossibilities are few,” Kipchoge added.

Kipchoge will lead his two other ‘partners in crime’ in the mission that would see them smash the world record for a marathon, set by compatriot Dennis Kimetto in Berlin in September 2014, which stands at two hours, two minutes, and 57 seconds.

He announced his marathon supremacy during the 2015 London marathon when he stunned a strong field that included among other stars, 2012 Olympic marathon bronze medalist Wilson Kipsang and Kimetto.

Kipchoge is optimistic Kenyan middle distance runners will continue rising to the road races challenge,  tipping Olympic 5,000m champion Viavian Cheruyiot to shine in her marathon racing career which she announced her intentions to transit onto.

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Story By Jacob Icia
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