Even Kenyan middle-distance great Asbel Kiprop gives into temptations to post his runs on social media like us recreational runners. The only difference is his ridiculous speed over 800m and 1,500m.
The 26-year-old ran a pair of 800m races at Eldoret’s Kip Keino Stadium on Thursday and Friday and proceeded to post his performances to a pair of Garmin photos via his Facebook page. He ran 1:45.20 in the opening round of the 800m race before improving on Friday with a 1:44.34.
For each of the two races, his Garmin data suggests he was running upwards of 28 kilometres per hour. Remarkably, that’s well above the speed limit for most recreational paths in Canada (typically 20 km/h).
What makes his performance even more impressive is that the city of Eldoret is located 2,100 metres above sea level. Running at altitude is considerably harder than running near sea level because of the lessened amount of oxygen. The track at Kip Keino Stadium, named after the two-time Olympic gold medallist, was recently renovated.
Kiprop, the Olympic 1,500m gold medallist in 2008 and three-time world 1,500m champion, is the third-fastest ever over the metric mile after running 3:26.69 last year in Monaco. The Canadian men’s 1,500m record is 3:31.71, held by Kevin Sullivan, now a coach at the University of Michigan.
According to Daily Nation, Kiprop arrived to the local meet in his BMW X6. Though much of the population is below the poverty line, successful runners earn a lot of money through race winnings and appearance fees.
Kiprop is also a chief inspector of the Kenya Police, according to Daily Nation.
Kiprop was born in Uasin Gishu, a county part of Rift Valley. Eldoret is a municipality of Rift Valley, considered a hotbed for distance running. Canadian Reid Coolsaet, for example, spent much of his winter training in nearby Iten to take advantage of its high altitude and soft running surfaces.