A New World Record

Eliud Kipchoge has won his last 9 marathons, setting a world record in 2:01:39 at Berlin. Aside from that, Kipchoge and I have a few things in a common. We are the same height, same weight, have a birthday just a few days apart, and share a similar passion and philosophy for the sport of marathon running.

Last Sunday, I woke up really early to watch him break barriers in the Berlin Marathon. Ever since I ran the London Marathon in 2015, which Kipchoge won and where I set my PR at the time, I've been fascinated by his remarkable composure and consistency. I've watched his last 5 marathons including his mesmerizing Breaking 2 attempt last year, one of the greatest athletic performances ever.

What impresses me most about Kipchoge is his mental game, his motivation and discipline, which as he describes results in his consistency. Consistency in winning but more importantly, consistency in improving as a runner and expanding the limits of the human body. As Kipchoge says:

"It's not about the legs; it's about the heart and the mind."

“The difference only is thinking. You think it’s impossible, I think it’s possible.”

"Only the disciplined ones in life are free. If you are undisciplined, you are a slave to your moods and your passions."

“If you don’t rule your mind, your mind will rule you. That’s the way I think about this sport.”

"Pain is nothing more than a mindset. Distract yourself with other thoughts - the joy of running, the finish line ahead. Then the pain fades."

These sayings of Kipchoge reflect his mental resolve. He believes what he is says and puts it into practice. Kipchoge rarely talks about placing or winning leading up to a race; instead, he focuses on how to prepare and trust the process to result in success.

Kipchoge's performance in Berlin was especially impressive as the weather was on the warmer side and two of his pacemakers dropped out early. In fact, he accelerated when his last pacemaker dropped and achieved a negative split in the second half of the race.

I will continue to follow and learn from the journey of the toughest and fastest male distance runner of all time. I remain hopeful we will see Kipchoge break 2 hours or give us another world record in the marathon before his racing career is over!