Eliud Kipchoge E.G.H. (English: /liud kpto/ EL-ee-OOD kip-CHOH-g; born 5 November 1984) is a Kenyan long-distance runner who competes in the marathon and formerly the 5000 metres. He is the world record holder in the marathon with a time of 2:01:39, set on 16 September 2018, at the 2018 Berlin Marathon. His run broke the previous world record by 1 minute and 18 seconds. Described as “the greatest marathoner of the modern era”, Kipchoge has won 12 of the 13 marathons he has entered.
Kipchoge won his first individual world championship title in 2003 by winning the junior race at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships and setting a world junior record over 5000 m on the track. At the age of eighteen, he became the senior 5000 m world champion at the 2003 World Championships in Athletics with a championships record, then followed with an Olympic bronze for Kenya in 2004 and a bronze at the 2006 IAAF World Indoor Championships. A five-time World Championship 5000 m finalist, Kipchoge took silver medals at the 2007 World Championships, 2008 Summer Olympics and 2010 Commonwealth Games.
He switched to road running in 2012 and made the second-fastest ever half marathon debut with 59:25 minutes. On his marathon debut he won the 2013 Hamburg Marathon in a course record time. His first victory at a World Marathon Major came at the Chicago Marathon in 2014, and he went on to become series champion for 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. He won the London Marathon a record 4 times, and won the Olympic marathon in 2016. His only loss in a marathon was a second place behind Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich at the 2013 Berlin Marathon, where Kipsang broke the world record.
On 12 October 2019, Kipchoge ran the marathon distance at a special event in Vienna, Austria, achieving a time of 1:59:40. The run did not count as a new marathon record, as standard competition rules for pacing and fluids were not followed and it was not an open event.
Early life and personal life
Kipchoge was born on 5 November 1984 in Kapsisiywa, Nandi District of Kenya. Kipchoge graduated from Kaptel Secondary School in 1999 but did not run seriously then. He ran two miles (3.2 km) to school on a daily basis. Kipchoge was raised by a single mother (a teacher), and only knew his father from pictures. He is the youngest of four children. He met his trainer Patrick Sang (a former Olympic medalist in the steeplechase) in 2001 at the age of 16.
In 2002, he won at the Kenyan trials for the 2002 IAAF World Cross Country Championships junior race. At the World Cross Country Championships, held in Dublin, Kipchoge finished fifth in the individual race and was part of the Kenyan junior team that won gold. Kipchoge also won the 5000 metres race at the Kenyan trial for the 2002 World Junior Championships in Athletics, but fell ill and missed the championships. At the 2003 IAAF World Cross Country Championships he won the junior race.
He set a world junior record in the 5000 m at the 2003 Bislett Games, running a time of 12:52.61 minutes. This stood as the world and African junior record until 2012, when it was improved to 12:47.53 minutes by Hagos Gebrhiwet of Ethiopia.
Kipchoge won a gold medal at the 5000 m final at the 2003 World Championships, outsprinting both future world record holder Kenenisa Bekele and runner-up Hicham El Guerrouj (the world record holder in the 1500 metres and mile) by four hundredths of a second (12:52.79 vs. 12:52.83).
In 2004, Kipchoge won a bronze medal at the 5000 m final at the 2004 Athens Olympics, behind El Guerrouj and Kenenisa Bekele. He also won the Trofeo Alasport cross country race earlier that season.
Kipchoge won the bronze in the 3000 metres indoor at the 2006 World Championships in Moscow. At the end of the year, he ran at the San Silvestre Vallecana New Year’s Eve 10 km road race and he just held off Zersenay Tadese to win in a time of 26:54 minutes. This was better than the world record, but the time was assisted by the downhill course.
During the 2008 Olympics held in Beijing, China, Kipchoge won a silver medal in the 5000 m event with a time of 13:02.80; although better than the previous Olympic record of 13:05.59, it was not enough to match Kenenisa Bekele’s pace, who won the gold medal for this race. On the circuit, he won the Great Yorkshire Run 10K and Campaccio Cross Country that year.
Kipchoge then went on to enter the Carlsbad 5000 in CA, USA. The Carlsbad 5 km road race is the venue for the world best times for a 5k road race for men and women respectively. The fastest to cover the track was Sammy Kipketer in 2000, with 12:59.52 min. Kipchoge made a world best attempt and although he won the race, weather affected his chances and he finished in 13:11, the fourth-fastest ever for the course up to that point in time.
In the first athletics final of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, he attempted to win the 5000 m Commonwealth title. Ugandan runner Moses Kipsiro held a slender lead over him in the final stages of the race and Kipchoge ended up in second place, taking the silver medal some seven hundredths of a second behind. He flew back to Europe immediately after to take part in the Belgrade Race through History the following day. His shoe fell off in the first kilometre and, after putting it back on, he made up much ground on the field to eventually take second place two seconds behind Josphat Menjo.
At the start of 2011, he won the short race at the Great Edinburgh Cross Country, ahead of Asbel Kiprop. He attempted to retain his title at the Carlsbad 5000 in April but came a close second behind Dejen Gebremeskel. In May he raced the 3000 metres (finished third) in Doha, with a time of 7:27.66 and ranked him as the 12th-fastest at the distance up to this point. Kipchoge was chosen to represent Kenya at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics and reached the 5000 m final for the fifth consecutive time, although he only managed seventh place on this occasion.
Kipchoge returned to the Edinburgh Cross Country in 2012, but this time he finished third behind Asbel Kiprop and Britain’s Jonathan Hay. He was also third at the Carlsbad 5000 in March. He attempted to gain a place on the 10,000 m Olympic team at the Prefontaine Classic, but fell back in the late stages of the Kenyan trial race, finishing seventh. A seventh-place finish in the Kenyan 5000 m trial race meant he would not make a third consecutive Olympic team.
He made his half marathon debut in the Lille Half Marathon. The run was won by a new course record time of 59:05 (previously 59:36 by ilahun Regassa set in 2008) from Ezekiel Chebii (former pb 59:22), trailed by Bernard Koech 59:10, and Kipchoge earned a third place with 59:25. His time of 59:25 became the second fastest Half Marathon debut, only second to Moses Mosop’s 59:20 in Milan in 2010.
Wilson Kipsang (front) and Kipchoge (behind) running in the Berlin Marathon 2013 in which Kipsang set the world record with 2:03:23 and Kipchoge, racing in his second marathon, finished second, 42 seconds later. As of June 2019, Berlin 2013 is Kipchoge’s only loss in the 13 marathons he has raced.
Kipchoge opened his 2013 season with a win at the Barcelona Half Marathon in a time of one hour and four seconds. Making his marathon debut in April, he demonstrated a smooth transition to the longer distance by taking the Hamburg Marathon title with a run of 2:05:30 hoursbeating the field by over two minutes and setting a new course record. In August 2013, he won the Half Marathon of Klagenfurt in 1:01:02 minutes.
Then, he raced in the Berlin Marathon and he finished second in 2:04:05, the fifth-fastest time in history, in his second ever marathon,behind Wilson Kipsang, who set a new marathon world record with 2:03:23. Third place went to Geoffrey Kipsang of Kenya with 2:06:26. This was one of 11 world record since 1977 set at the Berlin Marathon (As of 2019).
On 2 February 2015 Kipchoge participated in the Ras al-Khaimah Half Marathon. He placed sixth with a time of 1:00:05. The run was won by Mosinet Geremew (Ethiopia) in 1:00:05.
Kipchoge won the Berlin Marathon in 2015. His win and then-personal-best time (2:04:00) occurred even though his shoes malfunctioned, causing his insoles to flap out of both shoes from 10 km onward; rather than risk time lost from an adjustment, he finished the race with bloodied, blistered feet.
In April 2016, Kipchoge won the London Marathon for the second consecutive year in a time of 2:03:05. His performance broke the course record in London, and became the second-fastest marathon time in history, missing Dennis Kimetto‘s world record by 8 seconds.
Rio Olympic Games
As the prerace favorite, during the 2016 Summer Olympics, Kipchoge gained a gold medal in the marathon event. On the last day of the Rio Olympics on 21 August 2016 he won in a time of 2:08:44. The runner up was Feyisa Lilesa (Ethiopia) 2:09:54 and the bronze medal went to Galen Rupp (USA), doing his second marathon, crossing the finish line in 2:10:05. When the halfway point after 21.0975 km was reached, 37 men were within 10 seconds of the lead runner. The participants field diminished to 3 lead runners shortly before 34 km. Kipchoge made his final move on silver medal winner Lilesa around 36 km into the race. He covered the first half of the race in 1:05:55, while doing the second half in 1:02:49, that amounts to a difference of more than 3 minutes, a negative split. The winning gap between Kipchoge and Lilesa by 70 seconds is the largest victory margin since the 1972 Olympic marathon. Kipchoge’s winning time of 2:08:44 is his slowest marathon time (as of Apr 2019). One hundred fifty-five runners started the race, which amounted to the largest field in Olympic history; 139 of them finished the race. With this win, Kipchoge became the second Kenyan male after Sammy Wanjiru in Beijing 2008 to win an Olympic marathon gold medal. At the same Olympics, the women’s marathon was won by Jemima Sumgong in turn she became the first female Kenyan winner.
On 6 May 2017, Kipchoge, along with Zersenay Tadese (then world record holder in the half marathon) and Lelisa Desisa (2 time Boston Marathon winner), attempted the first sub-two-hour assisted marathon, in the Nike Breaking2 project on the Monza Formula 1 racetrack near Milan, Italy. All 3 runners ran a test 2 months before the attempt. The target time was 1 hour for a half Marathon. Kipchoge finished first in 59:17. The course was measured with 2400 m. During the 2 hour attempt, the runners were paced by a lead car and 30 supporting pacers joining in stages (both considered illegal under IAAF rules). The race started at 5:45h local time on the 2.4 km track. Kipchoge finished in 2:00:25, while the other two had to slow and finished far behind. The runners planned even 14:13 5k splits to break 2 hours. His 5k splits were: 14:14, 14:07, 14:13, 14:15, 14:14, 14:17, 14:17, 14:27, and 6:20 to finish. The 5k split times from 25k and further would be world records: 25k in 1:11:03, 30k in 1:25:20, 35k in 1:39:37, 40k in 1:54:04.
On 24 September 2017, he won the Berlin Marathon in a time of 2:03:32.In rainy conditions, he finished 14 seconds ahead of Guye Adola who ran his first marathon.Adola set the fastest marathon debut ever.Former marathon world record holder Wilson Kipsang and 2016 winner Kenenisa Bekele failed to finish.
It was a performance so far superior to anything we’ve seen before that comparing it to another marathon feels inadequate. This was Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game in basketball, Usain Bolt’s 9.58 in the 100-meter dash.Kipchoge’s splits – 1:01:06 for the first half, a ridiculous 1:00:33 for his second half – sound made up. But they were real, and they were spectacular.”
Kipchoge won the 2018 London Marathon against a field that included Mo Farah (4 time Olympic gold medalist), who finished third with a time of 2:06:32 in his second marathon, Kenenisa Bekele (3 time Olympic gold medalist and World Record holder 5000 m and 10000 m), and defending champion Daniel Wanjiru.
Eliud Kipchoge (left) and his three pacemakers (right) about 30 minutes into the run, during the Marathon world record in the 2018 Berlin Marathon. He is shown a few seconds before crossing the river Spree.
On 16 September 2018, Kipchoge won the Berlin Marathon in a time of 2:01:39, breaking the previous world record by 1 minute and 18 seconds (2:02:57 set by fellow countryman Dennis Kimetto at the Berlin Marathon in 2014). It was the greatest improvement in a marathon world record time since 1967. He finished 4:43 min ahead of second-placed fellow Kenyan Amos Kipruto. The World Record holder from 2013, Wilson Kipsang of Kenya, came in third in 2:06:48.
Kipchoge began the race with three pacemakers dedicated to him. After 5 km in the run, the gap between him and the Kipsang group was 9 seconds. After 15 km in the race, two of the pacemakers were unable to continue pacing him. The remaining pacemaker dropped out after 25 kilometres, leaving Kipchoge to cover the final 17 km alone. Kipchoge had planned to run with a pacemaker though 30 km (rather than 25 km); this adversity “was unfortunate,” he reflected post-race, “but I had to believe”. Kipchoge accelerated, covering the second half (1:00:33) of the race faster than the first half (1:01:06). In sunny weather conditions, the temperature was 14 C (57 F) during the start and 18 C (64 F) when Kipchoge crossed the finish line.
Before the run, Kipchoge stated, he planned to run a new personal best. The prize money he made for his Berlin run was 120,000, consisting of 30,000 for finishing in less than 2:04 hours, 40,000 for the win and a further 50,000 for setting a new world record. The world record set during this run was the 8th world record in 20 years in the men’s marathon at the Berlin marathon.
The pace during the run averaged to 2:53/km (4:38/mile). The second half of the race in 1:00:33 is faster than all but three American half-marathon times, and the last 10 km was covered in 28:33.
Berlin 2018 Marathon half split timesDistance
intervalSplitTimeNotesHalf Marathon1:01:061:01:0642.195 km1:00:332:01:39New WR
It was the most evenly paced marathon ever recorded, with the fastest 5 km interval covered in 14:18 and the slowest in 14:37, a difference of 19 seconds. His split times during his world record were as follows:
Berlin 2018 Marathon 5k split timesDistance
intervalSplitTimeNotes5k14:2414:2410k14:3729:0115k14:3643:3720k14:1957:5625k14:281:12:24(WR 1:11:18, Dennis Kipruto Kimetto)30k14:211:26:45(WR 1:27:13, Eliud Kipchoge/Stanley Biwott)35k14:161:41:01(WR 1:41:47, Dennis Kipruto Kimetto)40k14:311:55:32(WR 1:56:29, Dennis Kipruto Kimetto)
Following his performances in the 2018 season, Kipchoge received various accolades and recognitions. He was named IAAF World Athlete of the Year together with Caterine Ibargen, who received the female World Athlete of the Year award. On 11 January 2019, Kipchoge was also named the 2018 Sportsman of the Year at the Kenyan Sports Personality of the Year Awards in Mombasa, Kenya, beating fellow contenders for the coveted trophy, athlete Hellen Obiri, boxer Fatuma Zarika and rugby star Janet Okelo.
Kipchoge won the 2019 London Marathon in a time of 2:02:37, the second fastest marathon of all time, behind his 2018 Berlin Marathon win. His fourth win in London marks a new course record, beating his own 2016 London Marathon record by 28 seconds. The lead runner passed the half marathon mark in 1:01:37.Mosinet Geremew (Ethiopia) finished as the runner up in 2:02:55 and Mule Wasihun (Ethiopia) came in third place in 2:03:16. The British runner Mo Farah (4 time Olympic Gold medalist), a pre-race favorite, finished 5th.
Ineos 1:59 Challenge
In May 2019, a few days after his London Marathon win, Kipchoge announced another take on the sub-two-hour marathon, named the Ineos 1:59 Challenge. On 12 October 2019 in Vienna‘s Prater park, he ran 4.4 laps of the Hauptallee in 1:59:40, successfully becoming the first person in recorded history to break the two hour barrier for the marathon.
The effort did not count as a new world record under IAAF rules due to the setup of the challenge. Specifically, it was not an open event, Kipchoge was handed fluids by his support team throughout, the run featured a pace car, and included rotating teams of other runners pacing Kipchoge in a formation designed to reduce wind resistance and maximize efficiency. The achievement was recognized by Guinness World Records with the titles Fastest marathon distance (male) and First marathon distance run under two hours.
Representing KenyaYearCompetitionVenuePositionEventNotes2002World Cross Country ChampionshipsDublin, Ireland5thJunior race23:391stJunior team18 pts2003World Cross Country ChampionshipsLausanne, Switzerland1stJunior race22:471stJunior team15 ptsWorld ChampionshipsParis, France1st5000 m12:52.792004World Cross Country ChampionshipsBrussels, Belgium4thLong race36:342ndTeam30 ptsOlympic GamesAthens, Greece3rd5000 m13:15.102005World Cross Country ChampionshipsSaint-tienne, France5thLong race35:372ndTeam35 ptsWorld ChampionshipsHelsinki, Finland4th5000 m13:33.042006World Indoor ChampionshipsMoscow, Russia3rd3000 m7:42.582007World ChampionshipsOsaka, Japan2nd5000 m13:46.002008Olympic GamesBeijing, China2nd5000 m13:02.802009World ChampionshipsBerlin, Germany5th5000 m13:18.952010Commonwealth GamesNew Delhi, India1st5000 m13:31.322011World ChampionshipsDaegu, South Korea7th5000 m13:27.272012World Half Marathon ChampionshipsKavarna, Bulgaria6thHalf marathon1:01:522016Olympic GamesRio de Janeiro, Brazil1stMarathon2:08:44
CompetitionRankTimeLocationDateNotes2013 Hamburg Marathon1st2:05:30Hamburg2013 Apr 21Marathon debut, set course record2013 Berlin Marathon2nd2:04:05Berlin2013 Sep 291st Wilson Kipsang (2:03:23 World Record)2014 Rotterdam Marathon1st2:05:00Rotterdam2014 Apr 132014 Chicago Marathon1st2:04:11Chicago2014 Oct 122015 London Marathon1st2:04:42London2015 Apr 262015 Berlin Marathon1st2:04:00Berlin2015 Sep 272016 London Marathon1st2:03:05London2016 Apr 24Set course record2016 Summer Olympics1st2:08:44Rio de Janeiro2016 Aug 212017 Breaking22:00:25Monza2017 May 6An experimental run over the marathon distance.*2017 Berlin Marathon1st2:03:32Berlin2017 Sep 242018 London Marathon1st2:04:17London2018 Apr 222018 Berlin Marathon1st2:01:39Berlin2018 Sep 16World record2019 London Marathon1st2:02:37London2019 Apr 28New course record2019 INEOS 1:59 Challenge1:59:40Vienna2019 Oct 12An experimental run over the marathon distance.**
* Not eligible for record purposes. Kipchoge was the fastest runner out of three.
** Not eligible for record purposes.
World Marathon Majors results timelineWorld Marathon Majors2013201420152016201720182019Tokyo Marathon——-Boston Marathon——-London Marathon—1st
2:04:11—–New York City Marathon——-
- Kenyan Cross Country Championships
- Senior race: 2004, 2005
- Junior race: 2002, 2003
- Kenyan Junior Championships
- 5000 m: 2002
- Kenyan Olympic Trials
- 5000 m: 2004
- 1500 m
- FBK Games: 2004
- 3000 m
- Qatar Athletic Super Grand Prix: 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009
- Memorial Van Damme: 2004
- British Grand Prix: 2006
- BW-Bank-Meeting: 2006
- Sparkassen Cup: 2006, 2010
- Two miles
- 5000 m
- Notturna di Milano: 2003, 2009
- DN Galan: 2003
- Golden Gala: 2004
- Memorial Van Damme: 2005, 2008
- Ostrava Golden Spike: 2008
- Qatar Athletic Super Grand Prix: 2010
- 5K run
- Carlsbad 5000: 2010
- 4 miles
- 4 Mile of Groningen: 2005, 2006, 2007
- 10K run
- Half marathon
- Cross country