Home > The Scene

Zane Robertson swears Kipchoge is over 40

Speculation is rampant about whether the great runner may have fudged his real age

New Zealand marathoner Zane Robertson, twin brother of Jake Robertson, both of whom live and train in Kenya, says marathon world record-holder Eliud Kipchoge is at least 40, not 33, as is commonly reported. Robertson made the comment on Twitter recently in a reply to a thread about whether 40 is “old” for a marathoner.

RELATED: Here’s how much of a head start you’d need to beat Kipchoge

The original poster points out that former world record-holder Haile Gebrselassie, widely regarded as the greatest distance runner of all time, was 41 when he set a world record at Berlin in 2008 (though his Wikipedia page says he was 35). That’s when Robertson got involved, commenting that Kipchoge is over 40. When challenged on this, Robertson claims “There [sic] passport ages are all fake so they can cheat Jr’s and get contracts,” and claiming authority on the subject because he lives and trains in Kenya, along with his brother.

Eliud Kipchoge
Photo: NN Running Team/Instagram.

Robertson is referring to junior meets, where competitors must be under a certain age. There is much speculation about rampant age-cheating in Kenyan sports, including football as well as athletics. Many have long suspected Kipchoge was older than his reported age of 33, and that the under-reporting began many years ago. And though some are troubled by the possibility of Kipchoge having at one time lied about his age, the prevailing attitude is even greater admiration for what he achieved in Berlin if he is in fact 40 and not 33.

 
Jake and Zane Robertson in 2014

Jake Robertson ran the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 21, finishing fifth with a time of 2:09:52. He is engaged to Magdalyne Masai, the Kenyan runner who finished fourth at the 2017 Great North Run, the largest half-marathon in the world, proposing to her at the finish line of that race, where he finished second, behind Mo Farah.