Eliud Kipchoge (Kapsisiywa, Kenya, 1984), the best marathon runner in history, will receive this Friday the Princess of Asturias Sports Award at the Campoamor Theater in Oviedo (6:30 p.m.), although he has something more important to do first. In the morning he will lead a huge group of children to run a few kilometers through Campo San Francisco in the Asturian city. At 38 years old, after having won everything, he still harbors personal ambitions, but nothing motivates him more than inspiring young people, encouraging them to play sports, improving the world in his own way, one stride at a time.
“Since I started running I knew that it was something powerful, that by running you could achieve important things. It makes me very happy to receive the Princess of Asturias Award, it is a recognition of everything that I have deeply believed in throughout my career,” he comments in a brief chat with EL MUNDO before changing his usual tights and magic sneakers for a suit and shoes.
Kipchoge receives the honor in Oviedo two weeks after losing a title he had held since 2018: the fastest man on the planet. He is also Kenyan Kelvin Kiptum He broke his marathon world record in Chicago (2:00:35) and took over in the race to demolish the two-hour wall in an approved race. Despite the advancement of technology in footwear or nutrition, it seems unlikely that Kipchoge will seek a new record next year; His objective is another.
At the Paris 2024 Games he will aspire to eternity. In the surroundings of the Seine, starting at the Hotel de Ville and finishing in Les Invalides, he will try to win his third consecutive Olympic gold and thus surpass the German Waldemar Cierpinski (1976 and 1980) and especially to the Ethiopian legend Abebe Bikila (1960 and 1964). In the two previous Olympic events, Kipchoge barely encountered opposition and won with more than a minute ahead, but this time it is expected differently. Kiptum himself has already announced that he wants to be in the Games and will also try Kenenisa Bekelewho could run this December in the Valencia marathon to find his place.
The date of Kipchoge’s goodbye is unknown. Many years have passed since his debut as an international at the 2002 World Cross Country Championship, since his gold in the 5,000 meters at the 2003 World Cup and even since his debut in 2013 in the marathon, the distance that has given him the most glory, but still He has not announced when he will retire. The highest box on the podium at the Paris 2024 Games is understood as the best place… or not.