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September 17, 2018

Breaking Down The Most Impressive Part of Eliud Kipchoge’s World Record

The splits are crazy but we’re going to breakdown the actual most impressive part of Eliud Kipchoge’s marathon world record yesterday. It’s his post-race celebration.
The man accelerated after running a 2:01:39 marathon. People typically can’t walk after a 26.2 mile race but as we’ve come to learn in recent years – there is no one like Eliud.
A few things to note:

As he crosses the finish line, he does the classic hand clap and fist pump. That’s a great celebration because it shows that you’re happy. Sometimes people finish the race and don’t feel happy. Maybe they didn’t run well and they don’t do the hand clap. The hand clap is nice because it shows that Eliud is impressed with his performance – as he should be.

Another interesting thing to note is that he didn’t wear a watch. That’s good because he didn’t leave the door open for that terrible picture of someone crossing the finish line and looking at their watch. I think he knew that he was going to set a world record today and that’s why he left the watch at home. Maybe we should all leave the watch at home?
Probably about 10 steps after he crosses the finish line and stops clapping, he does a similar head slap to the one by Mo Farah after he won gold at the London Olympics in 2012. That’s an interesting move. It kind of insinuates the “unbelievability” of what just happened. He can’t believe it so he hits his head. He jumbles his brain around a little bit to make sure that what has happened is real. Eliud, it is. It’s really cool, man. You don’t need to hit your head so much. That’s probably not a safe thing to do after a marathon.
After he does the head slapping, he does an arms wide open move and runs for 10 steps past the finish line and toward his coach Patrick Sang. At this point he jumps – well, it’s kind of a jump but more of a three to four inch vertical leap (an estimate based off nothing). For a distance runner that seems fine.
Patrick Sang lifts him up but first gets low. That’s important to note. He gets a little lower. Eliud goes over and Patrick goes under with the arms. Sang uses the momentum of Eliud’s vertical leap to propel Eliud like a child into his arms.
It’s beautiful. Eliud is tiny and looks like a newborn in Patrick’s arms. So happy to be alive and run such a beautiful race.
And of course…it sounds so much better when you add Celine Dion to it.

Thanks to Taylor Hite for the illustration!
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