Eliud Kipchoge was born November 5, 1984 in Kapsisiywa, Nandi District of Kenya. He met his trainer Patrick Sang, a former Olympic medalist in the steeplechase, in 2001 at the age of 16. In 2002, he finished fifth at the World Cross Country Championships individual junior race in Dublin and was part of the Kenyan team that won gold. Set a world junior record in 5,000 meters at the 2003 Bislett Games, which stood as world and African record until 2012. Kipchoge won a gold medal at the 5000m final at the 2003 World Championships in Paris. Won the 5,000m bronze at the 2004 Athens Olympics. He won 5,000m silver at the 2007 World Championships at Osaka, behind Bernard Lagat.
Kipchoge won 5,000m silver at the 2008 Beijing Games, behind Kenenisa Bekele. Made his Diamond League debut in 2010 by winning the 5,000m Qatar Athletic Super Grand Prix. Finished second behind Ugandan runner Moses Kipsiro in the 5,000m final at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. Made his half marathon debut at the 2012 Lille Half Marathon, where he finished third. His time of 59:25 became the second fastest half marathon debut, only second to Moses Mosop’s 59:20 in Milan in 2010. Opened 2013 season with a win at the Barcelona Half Marathon before making a smooth transition to full marathons by taking the Hamburg title in April. He raced in the 2013 Berlin Marathon and he finished second in 2:04:05, then the fifth-fastest time in history, in his second ever marathon.
Kipchoge won the Berlin title in 2015 even though the insoles of his shoes came loose, causing blistered feet. Won back-to-back London Marathon titles in 2015 and 2016. His 2016 run broke the course record, and became the second-fastest marathon time in history. Won marathon gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics in a time of 2:08:44. In May 2017, Kipchoge, along with Zersenay Tadese (world record holder in the half marathon) and Lelisa Desisa (twice Boston Marathon winner), attempted the first sub-two-hour assisted marathon, in the Nike Breaking2 project on the Monza Formula One racetrack near in Italy. Kipchoge finished in 2:00:25, while the other two had to slow and finished far behind. Won the 2017 Berlin Marathon in rainy conditions, ahead of debutant Guye Adola. Kipchoge won the 2018 London Marathon against a field that included four-times Olympic gold medalist Mo Farah and Bekele. He retained his Berlin Marathon title in Sept. 2018, breaking the previous world record by 1 minute and 18 seconds. Won the 2019 London Marathon in a time of 2:02:37, the second fastest marathon of all time.
Eliud Kipchoge Biography and Profile
Eliud Kipchoge was born November 5, 1984. With a bronze from 2004 and silver from Beijing four years later, in Rio the two-time London Marathon champion will have probably the last chance of completing his set of medals of an otherwise glittering career spanning 15 years.
“I’m happy to be given a chance to participate in marathon at the Olympics. This will be crucial to me since I have never won gold in the Olympics; it’s more than important,” the two-time London Marathon champion says.
Few athletes boats the range of ability that Kipchoge possesses. A 3:33.20 man in 1500m, 12:46.53 in 5000m, 26:49.02 in 10,000m and 2:03:05 in the marathon, he is quite possibly the most versatile athlete currently competing.
From when he burst onto the scene as an 18-year old back at the World Championships in Paris 13 years ago, Kipchoge has shown great an indomitable spirit as he charted his career path with unerring precision.
It however all looked so bleak after he failed to make the team for the London Olympic Games four years ago.
Kipchoge had nightmare trials, finishing seventh (27:11.93) at the 10,000m Kenyan Trial at the IAAF Diamond League Meeting in Eugene and three weeks later, he came seventh in the 5000m race at the trials in 13:25.47 to miss out on a third Olympics.
But every cloud has a silver lining and it was the events of June 2012 that informed him it was time to move onto the road.
His return of success in the 42km distance has been remarkable, winning six of the seven marathons that he started. In April 2016, he became the second fastest man of all time after clocking 2:03:05 to win London Marathon.
“Everything I had was gone and I needed to look ahead. This is life, you have to accept outcomes whether they are bad or good and you have to know there are ups and downs. I had hope I will make it again and so I focused on the future and it paid off,” he stressed.
Rio will be different, because for the first time in his career, Kipchoge goes into an Olympics as the overwhelming favourite to win. Previously, he always had to contend with a certain Kenenisa Bekele, but his incredible win in London Marathon this year installed him as the man to beat in Brazil.
Not that being favourite matters to him.
“I’m going to approach it carefully and I’m not going to underrate anyone because you never know what will happen. In this Olympics everyone wants to win a gold medal.”
Winning gold would be the cherry on an incredible career.
Eliud Kipchoge ran casually in school, never reaching even district-level competition, and began training on his own after leaving school. Entering local cross country races in 2001, he placed 2nd overall in a jackpot series of competitions, attracting the attention of manager Jos Hermens.
The following year, Kipchoge again just missed winning the cross country jackpot but he triumphed in the junior race at Kenya’s trials for the 2002 World Cross Championships in Dublin, for which he was selected. But he fell ill beforehand and finished 5th. After winning the 5,000m trial for the 2002 World Junior Championships on the track, he fell ill again, but this time more seriously (malaria) and he did not travel to Jamaica.
After recovering, Kipchoge’s manager took him to Europe for three late-season races in which he demonstrated his true potential.
In 2003, Kipchoge again won Kenya’s junior trials for the World Cross Country Championships and, healthy this time, he won in Lausanne after a duel with Uganda’s Boniface Kiprop. He also won the Kenyan cross country series, earning a share of a 1million Kenyan shillings jackpot (Kipchoge’s portion: Ksh. 250,000, equal to about 3,000 euros).
Moving to the track, he dipped under the 13 minute barrier a couple of times, including for third place finish in Oslo (12:52.61) before making the Kenyan team for the 2003 World Championships in Paris.
It was here that he stunned the world by beating pre race favourites, four-time 1500m World champion Hicham El Guerrouj and new World 10,000m champion Kenenisa Bekele to win gold in the 5000 metres.
While Guerrouj made his move with Bekele in hot pursuit, Kipchoge’s late burst was enough for him to pip the Moroccan on the line and win in a Championships record time of 12:52.79.
In 2004, Kipchoge graduated to the senior 12km race at the World Cross, but could not repeat the heroics of Paris as Bekele won the Cross double while Kipchoge could only manage fourth place in Brussels behind a podium sweep by Ethiopians.
Disappointed, he turned his attention to the track setting a personal best in 1500m (3:33.20 in Hengelo). He returned to Kenya in June, where he won the Olympic Trials in Nairobi, before returning to the European circuit, setting two more PBs, in 5000m (12:46.53 in Rome) and the mile (3:50.40 in London).
He made his first appearance at the Olympics in Athens, in a rematch of the brilliant three-man Paris 5000m final. This time round though, Guerrouj was too strong in the final lap, with Kipchoge settling for bronze in 13:15.10.
Five days later, he took out his frustrations on the track in the Brussels GP, blasting a seasonal best 7:27.72 for 3000m, the year’s best mark. Two weeks after that, in the World Athletics Final, he repeated the win at 3000m, this time kicking decisively off a slower pace (7:38.67).
A dominating performance in the 12 km to win the Kenyan trials for the 2005 World Cross saw him lead the team in St Etienne/St. Galmier, where Kipchoge was thought to have the best chance in years to defeat cross country master Bekele, who was grieving over the death of his fiancée two months earlier. The two ran shoulder to shoulder for five of the 12km race’s six laps, but when Bekele accelerated with 2000m to go, Kipchoge could not respond, and staying with the hard driving Bekele for the first 10km cost him an almost certain silver medal as he faded to fifth.
At the 2005 World Championships in Helsinki, Kipchoge faced neither of his two Paris or Athens rivals, with El Guerrouj having retired and Bekele defending his 10,000m title only. The Kenyan was favourite to win a second World title, but with a decidedly slow pace, he struggled to get going as Benjamin Limo won gold while he finished fourth in 13:33.04.
He closed out the disappointing season with a fast win in the Brussels Golden League 5000 (12:50.22) and a more modest 2nd in the World Athletics Final 3000 (7:38.95).
Kipchoge chose to forego both the World Cross Country Championships and the Commonwealth Games early in 2006 but competed at the World Indoor Championships in Moscow, where he was up against Bekele again, this time over 3000m, which seemed better suited to Kipchoge, who had just recorded a new indoor 1500 PB of 3:36.25 in Birmingham. However, he had to make do with a bronze (7:42.58) as the Ethiopian took gold.
The highlights of an underwhelming season were 7:30.48 in 3000m and a 12:54.94 in 5000m.
Kipchoge raced sparingly in 2007, skipping indoors altogether and running just one cross country and five track races before the World Championships in Japan, the most notable of which were a dazzling 10,000m debut in Hengelo (26:49.02).
At the trials for Osaka, Kipchoge was third, making the Kenyan team for the World Championships. In the final, he was again undone by a slow pace, which saw Bernard Langat edge him out for gold with Kipchoge settling for silver in 13:46.00.
Two cross country race in Europe opened 2008 for Kipchoge, before his track debut in Doha (3,000m, 7:33.14), followed by 13:02.06 in 5000m in Ostrava in early June. A second place at the Kenyan Olympic trials gave him a second bite of the cherry in Beijing.
In the 5000m final, Kipchoge was again up against his nemesis Bekele and he again came up short, finishing second in 13:02.80.
2009 was another underwhelming year. Kipchoge started his track season in Doha with a fast 3000m (7:28.37). He timed a seasonal best in 5000m (12:56.46) in June in Milan before finishing third at the trials for the Berlin World Championships. In Berlin, he faded to fifth (13:18.95) as Bekele again triumphed.
A blistering 12:51.21 in Doha in May 2010 was the highlight of a low-key year, where he took silver at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in October.
After a sizzling start, with a victory at the Edinburgh cross in early January and indoor PBs at 3000m (7:29.37) and 5000m (12.55.72) in less than a week in February, 2011 was another unremarkable year, in which he could only manage seventh place in 13:27.27 at the Daegu World Championships – his worst career placing at major championships.
Then came the nadir in 2012, where Kipchoge failed to make the Olympics team in both 5,000m and 10,000m.
However, a sign of where he was headed came in September, when he clocked 59:25 in his debut half marathon on the way to finishing third in Lille.
That performance was enough for him to be included in the team for the World Half Marathon Championships in Bulgaria, where he finished sixth in 61:52.
Kipchoge shifted his focus entirely to road running from 2013. A 60:04 half marathon started his season in February and in April he made his marathon debut in Hamburg, winning in 2:05:30. He improved his time to 2:04:05 in September as he chased Wilson Kipsang, who set the World record at Berlin marathon. It would be his only defeat so far at the distance.
Kipchoge started 2014 with a 60:52 timing to win the half marathon in Barcelona in February. He followed it by winning the Amsterdam marathon in 2:05:00 in April.
In October in Chicago, Kipchoge came up against his long-time nemesis, Kenenisa Bekele – competing in just his second marathon. Determined to get one over the Ethiopian, the Kenyan ran a tactful race to get only his second win over Bekele in his career in 2:04:11.
Now firmly established among the top marathoners in the world, Kipchoge clocked 60:50 in the half marathon at Ras Al Khaimah in February 2015.
He then proceeded to London, where he produced another masterful performance to defeat a world-class field that included Kipsang and World record holder Dennis Kimetto and win the race on his London debut in a time of 2:04:42.
In September, he was back in Berlin for a crack at the World record. However, a mishap with his shoes, after his insoles came off almost on the onset, saw the affable Kenyan run most of the race with the insoles flapping around his ankles and put paid top his record attempt as he won in a PB 2:04:00.
When Kipchoge lined up for his second London Marathon in April 2016, he was the overwhelming favourite and he responded with a dominant win. He winded up the pace throughout the race, dropping his opponents with ease to win in 2:03:05, just eight seconds outside the World record.
Kipchoge put his head in his hands immediately after finishing, but afterwards said he was not too disappointed by missing out on a World record.
“I realised I was a few seconds off the World record. It was not really a disappointment.”
His inclusion in the Kenyan Olympics team was a no brainer and he has been tasked with becoming only the second Kenyan to win the Olympic gold after Samuel Wanjiru in 2008.
“It will take a lot of time, sacrifices, perseverance and patience to win Olympics gold, if you watch what the late Wanjiru did. I’m sorry Wanjiru died before he fully celebrated his performance. It takes a lot of time,” he added.
1500m: 3:33.20 (2004)
3000m: 7:27.66 (2011)
5000m: 12:46.53 (2004)
10,000m: 26:49.02 (2007)
Half Marathon: 59:25 (2012)
Marathon: 2:03:05 (2016)
3000m: 2002-7:46.34; 2003-7:30.91; 2004-7:27.72; 2005-7:28.56; 2006-7:30.48; 2007-7:33.06; 2008-7:33.14; 2009-7:28.37; 2011-7:27.66; 2012-7:31.40
5000m: 2001-13:48.0; 2002-13:13.03; 2003-12:52.61; 2004-12:46.53; 2005-12:50.22; 2006-12:54.94; 2007-12:50.38; 2008-13:02.06; 2009-12:56.46; 2010-12:51.21; 2011-12:59.01; 2012-12:55.34
10,000m: 2007-26:49.02; 2008-26:54.32; 2011-26:53.27; 2012-27:11.93
Half Marathon: 2012-59:25; 2013-60:04; 2014-60:52; 2015-60:50
Marathon: 2013-2:04:05; 2014-2:04:11; 2015-2:04:00; 2016-2:03:05
2002 5th: World Cross Country Championships (Juniors), Dublin
2003 1st: World Cross Country Championships (Juniors), Lausanne
2003 1st: World Championships, Paris (5000m)
2003 1st: World Athletics Final, Monaco (5000m)
2004 4th: World Cross Country Championships, Brussels
2004 3rd: Olympic Games, Athens (5000m)
2004 1st: World Athletics Final, Monaco (3000m)
2005 5th: World Cross Country Championships, St Etienne/St Galmier
2005 4th: World Championships, Helsinki (5000m)
2005 2nd: World Athletics Final, Monaco (3000m)
2006 3rd: World Indoor Championships, Moscow (3000m)
2006 7th: World Athletics Final, Stuttgart (3000m)
2007 2nd: World Championships, Osaka (5000m)
2007 6th: World Athletics Final, Stuttgart (3000m)
2007 5th: World Athletics Final, Stuttgart (5000m)
2008 2nd: Olympic Games, Beijing (5000m)
2008 5th: World Athletics Final, Stuttgart (5000m)
2009 5th: World Championships, Berlin (5000m)
2009 9th: World Athletics Final, Thessaloniki (3000m)
2010 2nd: Commonwealth Games, Delhi (5000m)
2011 7th: World Championships, Daegu (5000m)
2012 6th: World Half Marathon Championships, Kavarna
2013 1st: Hamburg Marathon
2013 2nd: Berlin Marathon
2014 1st: Rotterdam Marathon
2014 1st: Chicago Marathon
2015 1st: London Marathon
2015 1st: Berlin Marathon
2016 1st: London Marathon
Moment Eliud Kipchoge made history
Kenyan marathoner Eliud Kipchoge became the first human to run a marathon in under two hours, covering the 26.2-mile distance in 1 hour, 59 minutes and 40 seconds in a specially-tailored event in Vienna on Saturday. Eliud Kipchoge smashes running’s ‘Last Great Barrier’ with sub-2-Hour Marathon. Eliud Kipchoge, 34, covered the 26.2 miles (42.2km) in one hour 59 minutes 40 seconds in the Ineos 1:59 Challenge in Vienna, Austria on Saturday, 2019.
Eliud Kipchoge Biography (IAAF)