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Fanboy runner signs with NN Running Team, joins team of idols

Dutch runner Björn Koreman has gotten his shoes signed by Kipchoge and Cheptegei in the past, and now they'll be his teammates

Photo by: Instagram/bjornkoreman

The NN Running Team recently announced the signing of Dutch marathoner Björn Koreman, a 2:11 marathoner who has enjoyed a couple of breakout seasons in the past two years, running all eight of his current PBs in 2019 and 2020. Koreman says joining the NN crew is “such a dream,” as just a few years ago, he was entering contests to win signed shoes from Eliud Kipchoge, and now the two men are teammates. Koreman is living out the dream of many runners, going from fanboying over the world’s best athletes to joining them as their equal in such a short period of time, and he did it in extremely unusual fashion.

Becoming a runner

Koreman’s path to becoming an elite marathoner is unique, and he only started out as a runner at the age of 21 eight years ago. At the time, as he told archysport.com, he smoked a pack of cigarettes a day, and he only decided to run because his dad was doing a 10K. Koreman entered the 5K at the same event, running easy and completing the course in 20 minutes. His next race, he broke the 20-minute barrier, and soon enough, he was down to a PB of 17:50 (despite continuing to smoke). At this point, he quit smoking and decided to take the sport much more seriously, and he quickly improved his PB to 15:50.

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He is now down to PBs of 14:07.84 for the 5,000m and 29:22.48 for the 10,000m, both of which he ran in September 2020. In November, he ran a half-marathon best of 1:02:45 (which ended up being the fastest result of any Dutch runner in 2020), and in December, he won the Austrian Marathon Championships in another PB of 2:11:07.

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Living a dream

In the NN Running Team’s article announcing Koreman’s signing, the Dutch runner gave his new teammates a lot of praise. “It is such an honour to be part of the NN Running Team,” he said. “It is the biggest road running team in the world and I still can’t believe I will be part of the same team as athletics legends such as Joshua Cheptegei, Geoffrey Kamworor, Kenenisa Bekele and Eliud Kipchoge.”

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He continued, saying he has Kipchoge’s and Cheptegei’s autographs and that he has taken pictures with Julien Wanders. He’ll likely get many more photos with all of these athletes who have inspired him in recent years, although in these new pictures, Koreman will be running alongside his idols.