We saved the best for last because at the moment, Eliud Kipchoge is the best marathoner in the world. He’s coming off the incredible 2:00:25 run at the Nike Breaking2 Project in Monza, Italy. There’s definitely haters of it but I’m in the camp that believes that showed the world that under optimal conditions, we are much closer to seeing a sub-two hour marathon in our lifetime. It was far from a thrilling race but for two hours, it was certainly entertaining.
Kipchoge’s legitimate personal best is 2:03:05, which makes him the second-fastest in the field. He ran that time at the 2016 London Marathon and then didn’t run Berlin because of the Olympics. If he’s in better shape now than he was for London, I don’t see why he wouldn’t demolish this field and possibly the world record because London is a much slower course. The only time that Kipchoge has won in Berlin, he did it with the insoles of his shoes coming out and there’s isn’t really a way of judging how much slowed him down.
Kipchoge is 2–0 against Bekele and 2–1 against Wilson Kipsang in his marathoning career so he comes into the race with a target on his back and a little bit of pressure to win. When Kipchoge won Chicago in 2014, a lot of eyes were on Bekele. When he won London in 2015, it was built up as a clash between Dennis Kimetto and Kipsang. That’s when the pressure finally started coming onto Bekele because he had slain so many titans but he’s yet to crumble under any pressure. He went on to win Berlin. He defended his title in London. He won gold in Rio. This is Kipchoge’s biggest race and he’s given us no reason to doubt him yet.
He’s got the world record on his mind. He’s said it in multiple interviews. He’s rocking that jacket and Dri-fit with “Berlin WR” on it. We should all maybe find a way to take a page out of Kipchoge’s book when it comes to setting goals and approaching them because he just seems so calm and collected. SPIKES had a good piece about how he gets that attitude.
Kipchoge is a man on a mission right now and no one has been able to stop him when that’s the case.
World record No. 7 in Berlin on Sunday, courtesy of Kipchoge.