Yesterday it was announced that Eliud Kipchoge and Sir Mo Farah will face each other at the 2019 London Marathon. Farah’s the European record-holder and Kipchoge is the world record-holder. It will be a great race.
In the January 14 press video, Kipchoge hilariously describes Farah’s 2:05:11 marathon in Chicago as, “not very fast.” What Kipchoge’s saying seems insane to most people. The thought of running a 62-minute half-marathon and then doing it again, or frankly, running even one kilometre at 2:57 and doing that just over 42 times is unfathomable for most. But viewed in full, Kipchoge’s comments were very complimentary to Farah.
His full quote was, “I watched Chicago from the first kilometre to the last kilometre and I was really impressed with the mind and thoughts of Mo Farah. It was not really fast, but it was a tactical race. It was a psychological race.”
Kipchoge has won the London Marathon three times, in 2015, 2016 and 2018, and set the course record (2:03:05) in 2016. (2017 was the year Kipchoge ran 25 seconds shy of the 2-hour barrier in Nike’s Breaking 2 project in Italy.)
Farah finished third at London last year, behind Kipchoge in first and Shura Kitata in second, setting a new British marathon record of 2:06:21 in the process. He then went on to win the Bank of America Chicago Marathon in October, setting a new European record with a time of 2:05:11.
Referring to a 2:05 race as “not really fast” is such a flex and I love it pic.twitter.com/PmRwohi57C
— David Melly (@davidmellyruns) January 15, 2019
Jonathan Gault of Let’s Run makes a great point on Twitter, that for Kipchoge, a 2:05 would be slow. Apart from the Olympics, the world record-holder hasn’t run a marathon slower than 2:05 since April 2013.
Farah has two Olympic golds in the 10,000m, as well as three world championships. He officially retired from the track after the 2017 world championships, but has hinted at making a return in the near future. We’ll see what happens post-marathon.