Only eighth at the London Marathon 2020, but marathon record national Eliud Kipchoge still loves running, and wants to continue running to inspire young people.
– A day after the London Marathon, he admits it takes time to rest. What did you do during that break?
– I spend a month on vacation with my family. A whole month, just to recover. I want to feel my body ready again and most of all, my mind. When that came, I went back to practice.
– How do you analyze failure in London?
This can happen to any player: I have a goal and not fulfill it. I have noticed many sports, including mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing, and even top boxers have been beaten once or twice. That also came to me. But I will come back with the effort of achieving my goal.
– What is your goal, after all your achievements have been achieved?
– Inspire the world. I love track and field, I love to compete, I want to be faster and faster, but what really drives me now, is to inspire the next generation. Let the kids get started, let them explore running. It’s the driving force that drives me to wake up every morning and go to practice.
But the reality is, getting young people around the world to put down their cell phones and run is a difficult task. What do you think?
– I believe I can do it. I know the advancement of technology sometimes works against us, that the world has so many problems and everyone is busy … But there’s nothing like running, feeling freedom, relaxing your mind. and think everything clearly. I just understand life like this: Go for a run. That is what I want to convey to young people.
– There are also people who follow his example, start running, then become obsessed with the competition, with running at a speed, completing a certain distance. What do you want to tell them?
– I understand that. But they must understand the nature of the sport. Jogging can give you a sense of total freedom. Overcoming the competition, setting records, finishing time …, jogging gives you freedom, think deeply and improve your life. Enjoying freedom is the main goal we set when we run, and then other things.
– What do you worry if Covid-19 prevents you from ending your career in glory as you wish?
– I can only do one thing: Try to follow the method of my teacher – Patrick Sang – before: practice as normal as possible. A pandemic has hit all of us, but I need to concentrate completely, pretend nothing happened and move on. If you keep thinking about things you can’t control, you will block yourself and life like that will be very difficult. I prefer to focus on my practice and hope things get better.
– When he appeared before Patrick Sang when he was 16 years old, what did you want?
I want to be like him, learn to run well, get his coach accepted and, if possible, travel the world. I think a lot about what it would be like to fly, for example. After that, everything went very well for me. That’s why I appreciate the ability to change lives through sport. Now, after being the first person to run a marathon in under two hours, I feel empowered to tell everyone that go for a run, people have no limits.
– Speaking of running a marathon under two hours, how important is it to you running in an accredited race?
I finished a full marathon in under two hours. I tried twice and once noted. Running in a recognized race is very important, but I think I’ve proven it to the marathon runners behind. Over the next few years, more athletes will be able to run for less than two hours, and this should become normal. Just have someone open the door, then go back and say to the rest of them, “Come on, come in”.
– What will you do after you stop playing?
I keep running. I love this sport and will continue to stick with it. My idea is to go to many countries and to cities, to inspire young people, to invite them to run and explain the benefits of this.
– Many famous athletes are now businessmen and hotel owners. How about you?
– I don’t see myself in those activities. I think about what I’m going to do, I have many ideas that must be concretized, but my intention is to push the next generation to move.
Eliud Kipchoge is the most famous runner in history, the only person to run a full marathon (42,195km) in under 2 hours and has a world record at this distance, with a record of 2 hours 1 minute 39 seconds at the Berlin Marathon. 2018. He not only likes to run, but also has a passion for literature, reading and is building a public library in Kapsisiywa, Kenya – a good home. Even at the Kaptagat training camp, Kipchoge also installed a bookcase to encourage other athletes to read and learn.
Kipchoge recently read Professor Brené Brown’s “Dare to Lead”. He said he doesn’t care about the future of becoming a leader, but hopes to guide young people who want to be a leader.
Today, Kipchoge is known all over the world, but above all, he is just a kid growing up in the Rift Valley, eager to run. At the age of 16, he appeared before coach Patrick Sang, he only gave him a general training plan and then forgot the meeting. Only the next year, when Kipchoge qualified for the World Cross Championship, did Sang call again. At this time, he discovered that the two knew each other. Kipchoge’s mother – Janet Rotich – used to be a teacher of Sang and most of the children in Kapsisiywa village.
“Mom no longer works, but I always remember how she loved teaching the kids – future adults – her office, her dedication to education is what I always carry with me.” Said Kipchoge.
But Kipchoge’s career wasn’t just all pink. Last year, he experienced the feeling of failure and goal loss. At London Marathon 2020, Kipchoge is only eighth. Returning from the failure, he spent a month resting and re-establishing plans. Now, at the age of 36, Kipchoge understands the 2021 Tokyo Olympics as his ultimate goal.
Current athletes, he said, obsess about the uncertainties caused by the epidemic. In fact, Eliud Kipchoge himself cannot prepare anything at present, because the Tokyo Olympics and all other running events this year, it is not certain if it will be held.
Thuy Lien (follow El Mundo)
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