- World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge has revealed that failing the last year’s Ineos 1:59 Challenge would have been a disaster, describing the event as the toughest race in his athletics career.
The 35-year-old Olympic marathon champion said he doesn’t know what could have happened if he had failed to conquer the Ineos 1:59 Challenge, having fallen short before in Monza, Italy during the Breaking2 event.
“Ineos Challenge was my toughest. It took all my mind since I was running against the unthinkable,” said Kipchoge. “It consumed all my thoughts…I can say it was really hard for me,” Kipchoge said.
“I told myself that here is one man running and failing the whole world that was watching…it would have been a disaster,” Kipchoge continued.
Despite falling by 26 seconds in the Monza Nike Breaking2 challenge on May 6, 2017, Kipchoge made history on October 12 last year.
He became the first man to run a marathon under two hours, conquering the course in Vienna, Austria in 1 hour, 59 minutes and 41 seconds although 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.
He also disclosed that missing to double in 5,000m and 10,000m at the 2012 London Olympics Games after missing a flight remains the lowest moment in his 18 years athletics career.
“I was really down but all in all, I went back to launch my return. I told myself that missing one big event isn’t suicide and that there is always tomorrow, which is another day,” Kipchoge said.
He also added that he treated that moment as a challenge and had to understand why it happened.
“I got lessons from failing, I learned the hard way after being locked out from the team for the London Olympics,” Kipchoge explained.
“For 10 years in track and field, I had attended all the championship events, but this one was shocking to me. I felt it all from head to toes,” he added.
But Kipchoge acknowledges his lucky to have been surrounded by good professional people.
“My coach came in handy. He knew how to handle people who are in bad situations like me and here I am today,” he observed.