He is an Olympic gold medallist. He is the face of Nike’s Breaking2 Project. He has won eight out of the nine major marathons he has raced since 2013. Unsurprisingly, many consider him to be the greatest marathoner ever.
Eliud Kipchoge could have retired rich years ago. As he explains, however, running is a lifestyle with which he is not willing to part ways. In an interview with IAAF News, the 33-year-old Kenyan talks about how he got started, and what motivates him to continue redefining human limitations.
Kipchoge’s coach, Patrick Sang, was his first role model. The Kenyan steeplechaser had achieved success on the Olympic and world stages. In awe of Sang’s success, the then-18-year-old Kipchoge reached out.
“While preparing for the Kenyan Championships, I wrote a letter to Patrick asking if he could write a training program for me,” says Kipchoge. “He did so without knowing me that well and that is when my running journey really started.”
With nothing but a training plan and inspiration, Kipchoge tried to emulate Sang – who he now cites as his athletic, life and business coach – by signing up for a 10km in 2002, which he won. ” I would say that is when I first fell in love with running.” Ever since, he was hooked. “To me, running is life. I run to live longer and enjoy a healthier life. I always say: a run in the morning is like eating a fruit a day – it chases the doctor away. It is good for your mind.”
“Running has given me so much. It has allowed me to travel the world and enjoy a good lifestyle in general. I am always happy training, racing and above all, of course, when I win. That is the most enjoyable part to running. It gives me energy and motivation to target the next victory.
“People ask me why I run. It is for life and to inspire the younger generation to love sport and live a happy and full life. I can’t imagine a life without running.”