What made Eliud Kipchoge to start running

Eliud Kipchoge is the first man on planet earth to run a marathon in less than two hours after he clocked the unimaginable 1.59.40.02 on Saturday, October 12, 2019.

The fete put him in the Guinness Book of Records.

He also gets into history books with the likes of Neil Armstrong who became the first man to go to the moon in 1969, Roger Bannister who was the first man to run a mile in less than 4 minutes 65 years ago and Everest Hillary, the first man to climb Mt Everest in 1963.

Kipchoge’s story of victory is open to the world but little is known of how this journey began.

How bicycle breakdown brought about world's first man to run a marathon in less than two hours.

Eliud Kipchoge celebrates with the Kenyan flag after being the first man to complete a marathon in less than two hours. He clocked 1.59.40.02, in Vienna Austria, INEOS 159 challenge. Photo: INEOS159/Facebook.

The man born by the granary according to his mother, Janet Rotich, discovered he could be a good runner due to a bicycle hitch back in his Kapsisiywa home, Nandi County.

“I named him Kipchoge because he was born out of the granary. In Kalenjin a boy who’s born outside the granary (isto/choge) is named Kipchoge,” Mrs Rotich said of his lastborn son in a family of four.

At school, the world beater used to run two miles to school and back but never ventured into athletics competitions until after he completed high school, in his alma mater Kaptel Boys.

After completing form four, Kipchoge who was born on November 5, 1984, ventured into business of selling milk, operating a butchery and general retail shop.

“He had a business mind since he was a young boy. He was disciplined and I really never had problems with him,” his mother Rotich who was happy her son had conquered the world of athletics and made her the mother of athletes said.

According to Kipchoge’s neighbour, John Kiptum, Eliud’s talent was born out of a misfortune.

“He was carrying about 150 litres of milk on his way from home to the market. At Kimondi River, the worst happened. His bicycle broke down and that meant he needed to act first or all the milk would go bad,” Kiptum narrated to The Standard.

Kiptum said, the incident made Kipchoge run very fast to his friend Daniel’s home 5kms away to borrow his bicycle in order to deliver milk to the collection point.

“People who saw him tear the rugged terrain with his young but strong feet saw past the entrepreneurship determination in Kipchoge. We saw an oxygen tank that could weather a marathon and encouraged him to begin running. He heed our advice and that is where it all began,” Kiptum explained.

That is how Eliud Kipchoge, the world’s greatest marathoner of all time discovered he could run, and with 41 pacemakers he was able to rewrite history of athletics.

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