||05 Nov 1984
in Kapsisiywa, KEN|
Further Personal Information
||Wife Grace Sugut, sons Gordon Kiprop and Graffins Kiprono, daughter Lynne Jebet
||Human Resources - Halifax College: Eldoret, KEN
Sport Specific Information
|When and where did you begin this sport?
||He began running as a boy in Kenya, covering five to six kilometres to attend primary school each day. In 2012 he switched from track events to the road, and ran his first competitive marathon in 2013 in Hamburg, Germany.
|Why this sport?
||He wanted to run professionally to fund his education, and was inspired to do so by Kenyan distance runner Patrick Sang. "I wanted to join a tertiary college and pursue a course in human resource management. But there was no money at home and I just thought that if Patrick Sang made it, I can as well make it. We were neighbours. He lived about one or two kilometres from me in the same village of Kapsisiywa [Kenya]. When I was eight or nine I'd see him training and began to notice him."
|Club / Team
||NN Running Team: Netherlands
|Name of coach
||Richard Metto [national], KEN; Patrick Sang [personal], KEN, from 2002
||He runs between 200 and 230km a week.
||The Philosopher (nnrunningteam.com, 01 Sep 2019)
||Reading, supporting English football team Tottenham Hotspur. (runnersworld.com, 19 Apr 2016; highsnobiety.com, 10 May 2019)
|Most influential person in career
||Coach Patrick Sang. (nytimes.com, 14 Sep 2018; nation.co.ke, 05 Aug 2011)
|Hero / Idol
||Ethiopian distance runner Haile Gebrselassie. (IAAF, 26 Oct 2015)
||In 2012 a hamstring injury encouraged him to switch to marathon running. (bbc.co.uk, 22 Apr 2020)
In 2002 he missed almost a year of competition, including the junior world championships in Kingston, Jamaica, after contracting malaria. (globoesporte.globo.com, 12 Oct 2019)
|Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs
||He keeps a notebook for every year he has spent as a runner on the international stage. As of 2018 he had 15 notebooks. He records every training session in them and includes notes from various books that he reads. "When you write, then you remember." (nytimes.com, 14 Sep 2018)
|Sporting philosophy / motto
||"Athletics is not so much about the legs, it's about the heart and mind." (runnersworld.com, 19 Apr 2016)
|Awards and honours
||In 2019 he was named the BBC World Sport Star of the Year. (bbc.co.uk, 15 Dec 2019)
In 2019 he was presented with the Exceptional Achievement Award at the Laureus World Sports Awards after setting a marathon world record at the 2018 Berlin Marathon in Germany. (bbc.co.uk, 18 Feb 2019)
He was named 2018 International Association of Athletics Federations [IAAF] Male Athlete of the Year. (worldathletics.org, 05 Dec 2018)
He was named 2015 and 2018 Best Male Marathon Runner by the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races [AIMS]. (iaaf.org, 07 Nov 2018; 06 Nov 2015)
He has been presented with the Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart in Kenya, the nation's second highest honour. (Instagram profile, 26 Apr 2021)
||To set a new marathon world record at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. (blog.runningcoach.me, 17 Apr 2019)
||SUB-TWO HOUR MARATHON
In October 2019 he ran a marathon in Vienna, Austria, in 1:59:40 to become the first athlete to run a sub-two hour marathon. However, the result did not count as an official record because it was not run under race conditions. The event was run in ideal weather on a flat course, and he had a team of 40 pace setters, including multiple Olympic medallists, who ran in a V formation in front of him to reduce drag. He also completed the race in Nike 'Alphafly' shoes, a variation of shoes with carbon fibre plates that have provoked debate over their fairness and contributed to World Athletics' introduction of regulations on footwear in early 2020. "I am happy to inspire somebody. And even if they say it's not a world record, I have broken a barrier, which makes a difference in human life, in a human family. That's my evidence." (time.com, 22 Oct 2019; reuters.com, 24 Jan 2020; bbc.co.uk, 15 Dec 2019; theguardian.com, 12 Oct 2019)
He doesn't believe shoes with carbon fibre plates are the most significant factor affecting race times. "I thank Nike for the good shoes. They are doing a great job. But above all it is the person themselves [that makes the difference]. We have 10 teams in Formula One, with great engines and tyres from Pirelli, but only Lewis Hamilton is winning. Why? Because he is focused and he is a very good professional driver. I met him in Abu Dhabi and I realised that to win it is not the tyres, it is the person. What makes a human being is his conscience. If you don't believe you can run fast, even in the best shoes you can't do it." (theguardian.com, 15 Dec 2019; theguardian.com, 12 Oct 2019; theaustralian.com.au, 28 Jan 2020; sneakerfreaker.com, 16 Jan 2020; believeintherun.com, 09 Oct 2019)
In 2019 he said he wanted to continue running for at least another two years. "I am convinced that I can continue running at this level for at least two more years, but I have no guarantee. I need to stay healthy and get through training without injuries. I love running, it's that simple. The Olympic Games in Tokyo are still a big goal for me, and yes, I might be able to improve the [marathon] world record even further. Every day is a challenge, you're always faced with a new one. And when I have achieved something, I look forward to the next goal. That's my way of thinking, my character, that's how I work. After I retire my plan is to concentrate on inspiring people. My dream is to make this world a running world. A running world is a healthy [and] peaceful world. A running world is a joyful world." (blog.runningcoach.me, 17 Apr 2019; bbc.co.uk, 26 Apr 2019)
As a child he jogged as a form of transport to get to and from school. After finishing his studies he sold milk at a market to support his family while continuing to run. He was inspired by Kenyan Olympic medallist Patrick Sang, who Kipchoge's mother had taught when Sang was in kindergarten. Sang eventually became his coach, and gave him his first watch. "If I hadn't met him [Sang], my life would be different." (nytimes.com, 14 Sep 2018)