Justin Lagat wrote this piece today on the 2022 BMW Berlin Marathon and how this is a defining moment for the finest marathoner on the planet, Eliud KIpchoge, who races through the streets of Berlin on 25 September 2022!
Eliud Kipchoge came to the forefront of the sport in 2003 when he outsprinted Hicham El Guerrouj and Kenenisa Bekele in the 5,000 meters at the stadium in St.Denis, France. No one thought he could win, but Eliud. Kipchoge battled on the track and cross country until 2013 when he began running marathons. Two Olympic gold medals (Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2021) later, the greatest athlete of all times at the marathon is racing once again at the marathon distance, at the BMW Berlin Marathon.
Justin Lagat wrote this piece about KIpchoge and the pressure that he faces in Berlin. The race, on 25 September 2022, will be epic. This is how Justin Lagat sees the upcoming race:
Being two times Olympic champion, a world champion, the only man to run a marathon in under two hours, and a world record holder, it may not be easy to tell which has been the best moment for Eliud Kipchoge in his running career so far.
But, perhaps we could look back and tell the year that Kipchoge started becoming the greatest-of-all-time marathon runner we know; and that will be from 2014 when he won the first marathon majors event in Chicago.
From a brief interview I had with him in 2015, I cannot help but look back and wonder whether he still finds the same moments he mentioned then as the best in his career in running. The interview had happened a few days after he had won the London Marathon for the first time.
“I was more than happy to win one of the biggest marathons in the world; you know, London Marathon is considered by many as the major of the marathon majors, so I was happy to be the winner in London. It was my best moment so far in my career in marathon running, but in the twelve years of my life in athletics, I still remember where I started. I think that my best moment ever was when I won the gold medal in the 5000m event at the 2003 world championships in Paris,” Kipchoge had said.
It would appear as though this was the race that motivated Kipchoge more and made him realize that he was capable of achieving anything if he only focused and worked hard towards it. This was the time when we started to have a number of motivational quotes coming out from him.
“Success was my goal in London. Developing a winning attitude was not an option for me, but an absolute necessity. In the future, I want to have one of these titles; to be either a world record holder or an Olympic champion,” he had said during the interview.
Not only did he eventually win the two titles, but he also became the first and the only man to run a marathon in under two hours.
He came back that same year and ran the Berlin Marathon in a new personal best time of 2:04:00 despite the insoles of his racing shoes pushing out of his shoes.
In 2016, he got one of the titles he had wanted to have for a long time. He won an Olympic title after winning the marathon at the Rio Olympic Games.
As he comes back to race in Berlin again this weekend, for his top fans, it is no longer about what he can achieve, but how long he will remain on top?