Eliud Kipchoge

Eliud Kipchoge EGH (English: /ˌɛliˈd kɪpˈɡə/ EL-ee-OOD kip-CHOH-gə; born 5 November 1984) is a Kenyan long-distance runner who competes in the marathon and formerly competed at the 5000 metre distance. He is the world record holder in the marathon with a time of 2:01:39, set on 16 September 2018, at the 2018 Berlin Marathon. His run broke the previous world record by 1 minute and 18 seconds.[2] He has been described as "the greatest marathoner of the modern era".

Eliud Kipchoge
Eliud Kipchoge in Berlin - 2015 (cropped).jpg
Kipchoge at the 2015 Berlin Marathon
Personal information
Born (1984-11-05) 5 November 1984 (age 36)
Kapsisiywa, Nandi County, Kenya
Height167 cm (5 ft 6 in)[1]
Weight52 kg (115 lb)[1]
Event(s)Marathon, 5000 m
Coached byPatrick Sang
Achievements and titles
World finals2003 Paris
5000 m,  Gold
2005 Helsinki
5000 m, 4th
2007 Osaka
5000 m,  Silver
2009 Berlin
5000 m, 5th
2011 Daegu
5000 m, 7th
Olympic finals2004 Athens
5000 m,  Bronze
2008 Beijing
5000 m,  Silver
2016 Rio de Janeiro
Marathon,  Gold
Personal best(s)

Eliud won his first individual world championship title in 2003 by winning the junior race at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships and setting a world junior record over 5000 m on the track. At the age of eighteen, he became the senior 5000 m world champion at the 2003 World Championships in Athletics with a championships record, then followed with an Olympic bronze for Kenya in 2004 and a bronze at the 2006 IAAF World Indoor Championships. A five-time World Championship 5000 m finalist, Kipchoge took silver medals at the 2007 World Championships, 2008 Summer Olympics and 2010 Commonwealth Games.

He switched to road running in 2012 and made the second-fastest half marathon debut ever, at 59:25. In his marathon debut, he won the 2013 Hamburg Marathon in a course record time. His first victory at a World Marathon Major came at the Chicago Marathon in 2014, and he went on to become series champion for 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. He won the London Marathon a record 4 times, and won the Olympic marathon in 2016. His only losses in a marathon were a second-place finish behind Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich at the 2013 Berlin Marathon, where Kipsang broke the world record, and an eighth-place finish at the 2020 London Marathon.[3][4][5]

On 12 October 2019, Kipchoge ran the marathon distance at a special event in Vienna, Austria, achieving a time of 1:59:40.[6] The run did not count as a new marathon record, as standard competition rules for pacing and fluids were not followed and it was not an open event.[7][8][9]

Early life and personal lifeEdit

Kipchoge was born on 5 November 1984 in Kapsisiywa, Nandi County, in Kenya. Kipchoge graduated from Kaptel Secondary School in 1999 but did not run seriously then.[10][11] He ran two miles (3.2 km) to school on a daily basis.[12] Kipchoge was raised by a single mother (a teacher), and only knew his father from pictures. He is the youngest of four children. He met his trainer Patrick Sang (a former Olympic medalist in the steeplechase) in 2001 at the age of 16.[13]

Kipchoge's wife and three children live in Eldoret, Kenya.[14][15] He lives and trains in Kaptagat, 30 km (19 miles) from Eldoret.[16]



In 2002, he won at the Kenyan trials for the 2002 IAAF World Cross Country Championships junior race. At the World Cross Country Championships, held in Dublin, Kipchoge finished fifth in the individual race and was part of the Kenyan junior team that won gold. Kipchoge also won the 5000 metres race at the Kenyan trial for the 2002 World Junior Championships in Athletics, but fell ill and missed the championships. At the 2003 IAAF World Cross Country Championships he won the junior race.

He set a world junior record in the 5000 m at the 2003 Bislett Games, running a time of 12:52.61 minutes. This stood as the world and African junior record until 2012, when it was improved to 12:47.53 minutes by Hagos Gebrhiwet of Ethiopia.[17]

Kipchoge won a gold medal at the 5000 m final at the 2003 World Championships, outsprinting both future world record holder Kenenisa Bekele and runner-up Hicham El Guerrouj, the world record holder in the 1500 metres and mile, by four hundredths of a second in 12:52.79.[18]

Kipchoge (third from the right) during the 5000 m heat in the 2007 IAAF World Championship in Osaka. He won a silver medal in the final.

In July he participated in the Golden League 2004 Roma Meeting. In the 5000 m event, he dipped first among the starters with 12:46.53, which made him the sixth-fastest ever in the event.[19]

In 2004, Kipchoge won a bronze medal at the 5000 m final at the 2004 Athens Olympics, behind El Guerrouj and Kenenisa Bekele.[20] He also won the Trofeo Alasport cross country race earlier that season.


Kipchoge won the bronze in the 3000 metres indoor at the 2006 World Championships in Moscow.

At the end of the year, Kipchoge won the San Silvestre Vallecana New Year's Eve 10 km road race in a time of 26:54 minutes, which beat his own course record by 40 seconds. This time was also better than the 10K track world record at the time, but was run on a downhill course.[21]


Kipchoge won a silver medal at the 5000 m final of the 2007 World Championships at Osaka in 13:46.00, behind Bernard Lagat (13:45.87).[22]


During the 2008 Olympics held in Beijing, China, Kipchoge won a silver medal in the 5000 m event with a time of 13:02.80; although better than the previous Olympic record of 13:05.59, it was not enough to match Kenenisa Bekele's pace, who won the gold medal for this race.[23] On the circuit, he won the Great Yorkshire Run 10K and Campaccio Cross Country that year.


He failed to reach the podium at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics, finishing in fifth place and he also finished ninth in the 3000 m at the 2009 IAAF World Athletics Final.

2010–11 seasonsEdit

He made his debut on the 2010 IAAF Diamond League by winning the 5000 m Qatar Athletic Super Grand Prix in a meet record time.[24]

Kipchoge then went on to enter the Carlsbad 5000 in CA, USA. The Carlsbad 5 km road race is the venue for the world best times for a 5k road race for men and women respectively. The fastest to cover the track was Sammy Kipketer in 2000, with 12:59.52 min.[25] Kipchoge made a world best attempt and although he won the race, weather affected his chances and he finished in 13:11, the fourth-fastest ever for the course up to that point in time.[26]

In the first athletics final of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, he attempted to win the 5000 m Commonwealth title. Ugandan runner Moses Kipsiro held a slender lead over him in the final stages of the race and Kipchoge ended up in second place, taking the silver medal some seven hundredths of a second behind.[27][28] He flew back to Europe immediately after to take part in the Belgrade Race through History the following day. His shoe fell off in the first kilometre and, after putting it back on, he made up much ground on the field to eventually take second place two seconds behind Josphat Menjo.[29]

At the start of 2011, he won the short race at the Great Edinburgh Cross Country, ahead of Asbel Kiprop.[30] He attempted to retain his title at the Carlsbad 5000 in April but came a close second behind Dejen Gebremeskel.[31] In May he raced the 3000 metres (finished third) in Doha, with a time of 7:27.66 and ranked him as the 12th-fastest at the distance up to this point.[32] Kipchoge was chosen to represent Kenya at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics and reached the 5000 m final for the fifth consecutive time, although he only managed seventh place on this occasion.


Kipchoge returned to the Edinburgh Cross Country in 2012, but this time he finished third behind Asbel Kiprop and Britain's Jonathan Hay.[33] He was also third at the Carlsbad 5000 in March.[34] He attempted to gain a place on the 10,000 m Olympic team at the Prefontaine Classic, but fell back in the late stages of the Kenyan trial race, finishing seventh.[35] A seventh-place finish in the Kenyan 5000 m trial race meant he would not make a third consecutive Olympic team.[36]

He made his half marathon debut in the Lille Half Marathon.[37] The run was won by a new course record time of 59:05 (previously 59:36 by ilahun Regassa set in 2008) by Ezekiel Chebii (former pb 59:22), trailed by Bernard Koech 59:10, and Kipchoge earned a third place with 59:25. His time of 59:25 became the second fastest Half Marathon debut, only second to Moses Mosop's 59:20 in Milan in 2010.[38]

On 6 October 2012 Kipchoge ran in the 2012 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Kavarna Bulgaria. Zsersenay Tadese of Eritrea won in 1:00:19 and Kipchoge placed sixth in 1:01:52.[39]


Wilson Kipsang (front) and Kipchoge (behind) running in the Berlin Marathon 2013 in which Kipsang set the world record with 2:03:23 and Kipchoge, racing in his second marathon, finished second, 42 seconds later.

Kipchoge opened his 2013 season with a win at the Barcelona Half Marathon in a time of one hour and four seconds.[40] Making his marathon debut in April, he demonstrated a smooth transition to the longer distance by taking the Hamburg Marathon title with a run of 2:05:30 hours—beating the field by over two minutes and setting a new course record.[41] In August 2013, he won the Half Marathon of Klagenfurt in 1:01:02 minutes.[42]

Then, he raced in the Berlin Marathon and he finished second in 2:04:05, the fifth-fastest time in history, in his second ever marathon,[43] behind Wilson Kipsang, who set a new marathon world record with 2:03:23. Third place went to Geoffrey Kipsang of Kenya with 2:06:26.[4] This was one of 11 world record since 1977 set at the Berlin Marathon (As of 2019).[44]


On 2 February 2015 Kipchoge participated in the Ras al-Khaimah Half Marathon. He placed sixth with a time of 1:00:50. The run was won by Mosinet Geremew (Ethiopia) in 1:00:05.[45]

Kipchoge won the Berlin Marathon in 2015. His win and then-personal-best time (2:04:00) occurred even though his shoes malfunctioned, causing his insoles to flap out of both shoes from 10 km onward; rather than risk time lost from an adjustment, he finished the race with bloodied, blistered feet.[46]


In April 2016, Kipchoge won the London Marathon for the second consecutive year in a time of 2:03:05.[47] His performance broke the course record in London, and became the second-fastest marathon time in history, missing Dennis Kimetto's world record by 8 seconds.[48]

Rio Olympic Games

As the prerace favorite, during the 2016 Summer Olympics, Kipchoge gained a gold medal in the marathon event.[49][50][51] On the last day of the Rio Olympics on 21 August 2016 he won in a time of 2:08:44. The runner up was Feyisa Lilesa (Ethiopia) 2:09:54 and the bronze medal went to Galen Rupp (USA), doing his second marathon, crossing the finish line in 2:10:05. When the halfway point after 21.0975 km was reached, 37 men were within 10 seconds of the lead runner. The participants field diminished to 3 lead runners shortly before 34 km. Kipchoge made his final move on silver medal winner Lilesa around 36 km into the race. He covered the first half of the race in 1:05:55, while doing the second half in 1:02:49, that amounts to a difference of more than 3 minutes, a negative split.[52][53] The winning gap between Kipchoge and Lilesa by 70 seconds was the largest victory margin since the 1972 Olympic marathon.[54] Kipchoge's winning time of 2:08:44 is his slowest marathon time (as of Mar 2020). One hundred fifty-five runners started the race, which amounted to the largest field in Olympic history; 140 of them finished the race.[55][56] With this win, Kipchoge became the second Kenyan male after Sammy Wanjiru in Beijing 2008 to win an Olympic marathon gold medal. At the same Olympics, the women's marathon was won by Jemima Sumgong in turn she became the first female Kenyan winner.[57][53]

On 20 November 2016, Kipchoge ran in the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, winning the race clocking a time of 59:44.[58]


On 6 May 2017, Kipchoge, along with Zersenay Tadese (then world record holder in the half marathon) and Lelisa Desisa (2 time Boston Marathon winner), attempted the first sub-two-hour assisted marathon, in the Nike Breaking2 project on the Monza Formula 1 racetrack near Milan, Italy. All 3 runners ran a test 2 months before the attempt. The target time was 1 hour for a half Marathon. Kipchoge finished first in 59:17. The course was measured at 2400 m per lap.[59] During the 2 hour attempt, the runners were paced by a lead car and 30 supporting pacers joining in stages (both considered illegal under IAAF rules).[60] The race started at 5:45h local time on the 2.4 km track. Kipchoge finished in 2:00:25, while the other two had to slow and finished far behind.[61] The runners planned even 14:13 5k splits to break 2 hours. His 5k splits were: 14:14, 14:07, 14:13, 14:15, 14:14, 14:17, 14:17, 14:27, and 6:20 to finish.[62] The 5k split times from 25k and further would be world records: 25k in 1:11:03, 30k in 1:25:20, 35k in 1:39:37, 40k in 1:54:04.

On 24 September 2017, he won the Berlin Marathon in a time of 2:03:32.[63] In rainy conditions, he finished 14 seconds ahead of Guye Adola who ran his first marathon. Adola set the fastest marathon debut ever.[64] Former marathon world record holder Wilson Kipsang and 2016 winner Kenenisa Bekele failed to finish.[65][66]


"A 2:01:39 in the Marathon is like a Mars landing for Space travel."

Neue Zürcher Zeitung[67]

"Whatever happens, this will surely go down as Kipchoge's crowning glory, his marathon opus. It would be no surprise if his record stood for a generation, unless, of course, he himself has other ideas."

The Guardian[68]

"In an astonishing performance at the 2018 BMW Berlin Marathon, Kipchoge took marathoning into a new stratosphere by clocking 2:01:39 – the first man ever under 2:02, and a full 78 seconds faster than Dennis Kimetto's four-year-old world record.

It was a performance so far superior to anything we've seen before that comparing it to another marathon feels inadequate. This was Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game in basketball, Usain Bolt's 9.58 in the 100-meter dash.

Kipchoge's splits – 1:01:06 for the first half, a ridiculous 1:00:33 for his second half – sound made up. But they were real, and they were spectacular."


Kipchoge won the 2018 London Marathon against a field that included Mo Farah, Kenenisa Bekele, and defending champion Daniel Wanjiru.[70][71][72][73][74]

Eliud Kipchoge (left) and his three pacers (right) about 30 minutes into the run, during the Marathon world record in the 2018 Berlin Marathon. He is shown a few seconds before crossing the river Spree.

2018 Berlin and new world recordEdit

On 16 September 2018, Kipchoge won the Berlin Marathon in a time of 2:01:39, breaking the previous world record by 1 minute and 18 seconds (2:02:57 set by fellow countryman Dennis Kimetto at the Berlin Marathon in 2014). It was the greatest improvement in a marathon world record time since 1967.[75] He finished 4:43 min ahead of second-placed fellow Kenyan Amos Kipruto. The World Record holder from 2013, Wilson Kipsang of Kenya, came in third at 2:06:48.[76][77]

Berlin 2018 Marathon split times
Split Time Notes
5k 14:24 14:24
10k 14:37 29:01
15k 14:36 43:37
20k 14:19 57:56
Half Marathon 1:01:06 1:01:06
25k 14:28 1:12:24 (WR 1:11:18, Dennis Kipruto Kimetto)
30k 14:21 1:26:45 (WR 1:27:13, Eliud Kipchoge/Stanley Biwott)
35k 14:16 1:41:01 (WR 1:41:47, Dennis Kipruto Kimetto)
40k 14:31 1:55:32 (WR 1:56:29, Dennis Kipruto Kimetto)

2018 accoladesEdit

Following his performances in the 2018 season, Kipchoge received numerous accolades and awards. He was named IAAF World Athlete of the Year together with Caterine Ibargüen, who received the female World Athlete of the Year award.[78] On 11 January 2019, Kipchoge was named the 2018 Sportsman of the Year at the Kenyan Sports Personality of the Year Awards in Mombasa, Kenya.[79]


Kipchoge won the 2019 London Marathon in a time of 2:02:37,[80] the second fastest marathon of all time, behind his 2018 Berlin Marathon win. His fourth win in London marks a new course record, beating his own 2016 London Marathon record by 28 seconds.[81] The lead runner passed the half marathon mark in 1:01:37.[82] Mosinet Geremew (Ethiopia) finished as the runner up in 2:02:55 and Mule Wasihun (Ethiopia) came in third place in 2:03:16.[3] The British runner Mo Farah (4 time Olympic Gold medalist), a pre-race favorite, finished 5th.[83]

Ineos 1:59 ChallengeEdit

In May 2019, a few days after his London Marathon win, Kipchoge announced another take on the sub-two-hour marathon, named the Ineos 1:59 Challenge. On 12 October 2019 in Vienna's Prater park, he ran 4.4 laps of the Hauptallee in 1:59:40, becoming the first person in recorded history to break the two hour barrier over a marathon distance.[84][85][86]

The effort did not count as a new world record under IAAF rules due to the setup of the challenge. Specifically, it was not an open event, Kipchoge was handed fluids by his support team throughout, the run featured a pace car, and included rotating teams of other runners pacing Kipchoge in a formation designed to reduce wind resistance and maximize efficiency.[87][88] The achievement was recognized by Guinness World Records with the titles ‘Fastest marathon distance (male)’ and ‘First marathon distance run under two hours’.[89][90]


Kipchoge placed 8th in the 2020 London Marathon with a time of 2:06:49.[5]


In preparation for the 2021 Olympics, Eliud Kipchoge won the Enschede Marathon, which was held in an airfield in Netherlands, on 18 April 2021 in a time of 2:04:30 and Jonathan Korir finished as the runner up with a personal best of 2:06:40.[91]

Competition recordEdit


Representing   Kenya
Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
2002 World Cross Country Championships Dublin, Ireland 5th Junior race 23:39
1st Junior team 18 pts
2003 World Cross Country Championships Lausanne, Switzerland 1st Junior race 22:47
1st Junior team 15 pts
World Championships Paris, France 1st 5000 m 12:52.79
2004 World Cross Country Championships Brussels, Belgium 4th Long race 36:34
2nd Team 30 pts
Olympic Games Athens, Greece 3rd 5000 m 13:15.10
2005 World Cross Country Championships Saint-Étienne, France 5th Long race 35:37
2nd Team 35 pts
World Championships Helsinki, Finland 4th 5000 m 13:33.04
2006 World Indoor Championships Moscow, Russia 3rd 3000 m 7:42.58
2007 World Championships Osaka, Japan 2nd 5000 m 13:46.00
2008 Olympic Games Beijing, China 2nd 5000 m 13:02.80
2009 World Championships Berlin, Germany 5th 5000 m 13:18.95
2010 Commonwealth Games New Delhi, India 2nd 5000 m 13:31.32
2011 World Championships Daegu, South Korea 7th 5000 m 13:27.27
2012 World Half Marathon Championships Kavarna, Bulgaria 6th Half marathon 1:01:52
2016 Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 1st Marathon 2:08:44



Competition Rank Time Location Date Notes
2013 Hamburg Marathon 1st 2:05:30 Hamburg 2013 Apr 21 Marathon debut, set course record
2013 Berlin Marathon 2nd 2:04:05 Berlin 2013 Sep 29 1st Wilson Kipsang (2:03:23 World Record)
2014 Rotterdam Marathon 1st 2:05:00 Rotterdam 2014 Apr 13
2014 Chicago Marathon 1st 2:04:11 Chicago 2014 Oct 12
2015 London Marathon 1st 2:04:42 London 2015 Apr 26
2015 Berlin Marathon 1st 2:04:00 Berlin 2015 Sep 27
2016 London Marathon 1st 2:03:05 London 2016 Apr 24 Set course record
2016 Summer Olympics 1st 2:08:44 Rio de Janeiro 2016 Aug 21 Largest margin of victory (70 seconds) in Olympics since 1972
2017 Breaking2[92] 2:00:25 Monza 2017 May 6 An experimental run over the marathon distance.*
2017 Berlin Marathon 1st 2:03:32 Berlin 2017 Sep 24
2018 London Marathon 1st 2:04:17 London 2018 Apr 22
2018 Berlin Marathon 1st 2:01:39 Berlin 2018 Sep 16 World record
2019 London Marathon 1st 2:02:37 London 2019 Apr 28 New course record
2019 INEOS 1:59 Challenge[93] 1:59:40 Vienna 2019 Oct 12 An experimental run over the marathon distance.**
2020 London Marathon 8th 2:06:49 London 2020 Oct 4 First loss in marathon since 2013. Lowest finish in career.
NN Mission Marathon 1st 2:04:30 Enschede 2021 Apr 18

* Not eligible for record purposes. Kipchoge was the fastest runner out of three.
** Not eligible for record purposes.

World Marathon Majors results timeline
World Marathon Majors 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Tokyo Marathon
Boston Marathon
London Marathon 1st
Berlin Marathon 2nd
Chicago Marathon 1st
New York City Marathon

National titlesEdit

Circuit winsEdit

1500 m
3000 m
Two miles
5000 m
5K run
4 miles
10K run
Half marathon
Cross country


Personal bestsEdit

Distance Time (min) Date Location Venue
1500 m 3:36.25 18 February 2006 Birmingham, United Kingdom National Indoor Arena
3000 m 7:29.37 5 February 2011 Stuttgart, Germany Hanns-Martin-Schleyer-Halle
Two miles 8:07.39 18 February 2012 Birmingham, United Kingdom National Indoor Arena
5000 m 12:55.72 11 February 2011 Düsseldorf, Germany Arena-Sportpark
Distance Time Date Location Venue
1500 m 3:33.20 31 May 2004 Hengelo, Netherlands FBK Games
Mile run 3:50.40 30 July 2004 London, United Kingdom London Grand Prix
3000 m 7:27.66 6 May 2011 Doha, Qatar Qatar Athletic Super Grand Prix
Two miles 8:07.68 4 June 2005 Eugene, United States Prefontaine Classic
5000 m 12:46.53 2 July 2004 Rome, Italy Golden Gala
10,000 m 26:49.02 26 May 2007 Hengelo, Netherlands FBK Games
10 km (road race) 28:11 27 September 2009 Utrecht, Netherlands Utrechtse Singelloop
10 km (road race)[a] 26:54 31 December 2006 Madrid, Spain San Silvestre Vallecana
Half marathon 59:25 1 September 2012 Lille, France Lille Half Marathon
30 km 1:27:13 24 April 2016 London, United Kingdom London Marathon
Marathon 2:01:39 WR 16 September 2018 Berlin, Germany Berlin Marathon
1:59:40[b] 12 October 2019 Vienna, Austria Ineos 1:59 Challenge

All Information taken from IAAF profile.[10][96]

  1. ^ Set on a downhill course.[94][95]
  2. ^ Set on closed course under non race conditions including pacemakers and pace car.


See alsoEdit


Competition record
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External linksEdit

Preceded by
Hicham El Guerrouj
Edwin Soi
Men's 3000 m best year performance
Succeeded by
Isaac Kiprono Songok
Tariku Bekele
Preceded by
Dennis Kipruto Kimetto
Men's marathon world record holder
16 September 2018 – present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
  Mutaz Essa Barshim
Men's Track & Field News Athlete of the Year
Succeeded by
  Karsten Warholm
Preceded by
  Francesco Molinari
BBC World Sport Star of the Year
Succeeded by
  Khabib Nurmagomedov