Olympic 10,000m champion Selemon Barega will take on Diamond Trophy holder Berihu Aregawi in a deep elite field in the 5000m race at the fifth leg of Diamond League meeting that will be on 9th June 2022 in Rome, Italy.
Barega who is the fifth fastest runner (behind Joshua Cheptegei, Kenenisa Bekele, Haile Gebrselassie, and Daniel Komen) in history with a time of 12:43.02 that he got when winning the 2018 Diamond Trophy in Brussels four years ago.
The 22 year-old is a two-time 3000m World Indoor Championship medallist, taking a silver in 2018, and a gold in 2022 in Belgrade, will take on his compatriot, Aregawi who is reigning Diamond League champion.
Aregawi is the 2018 Summer Youth Olympics 3000m silver medallist and he is also the bronze medalist in the 10000m race at the 2018 World Athletics U20 Champion.
The 21 year-old set the fifth fastest time of 7:26.20 in 3000m history at the Indoor Meeting Karlsruhe which was the first of this season’s seven World Indoor Tour Gold meetings.
Barega and Aregawi will be joined by the double World 5000m Champiom, Muktar Edris and Yomif Kejelcha, who claimed the Diamond League title in 2015 and set a 3000m Diamond League record of 7:26.25 in Oslo last year.
That time bettered the previous series record of 7:26.64 that had been set by Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo a year earlier in the same city.
This Boston Marathon may not have legends Eliud Kipchoge or Kenenisa Bekele, but it does have most of the other stars of recent years. It is arguably the deepest Boston men’s field in the race’s 126-year history.
Like with the women’s race, Boston got a boost with a return to its Patriots’ Day date for the first time since 2019. The world’s other jewel spring marathon, London, which usually has the best roster of the spring, is once again being held in the fall this year due to the pandemic.
So this field includes every man who won Boston, London and New York City in 2019 and 2021 (save Kipchoge), the last two world champions, plus recent winners of Chicago and Tokyo.
Picking a favorite is difficult, but the entries can be separated between recent breakthroughs and veteran champions.
Three men in the field earned their first major marathon victories last fall: Kenyans Benson Kipruto (Boston) and Albert Korir (New York City) and Ethiopian Sisay Lemma (London).
The names with more pizzazz: Kenyan Geoffrey Kamworor, a longtime training partner of Kipchoge, won New York City in 2017 and 2019, plus three world half marathon titles. But he was fourth in his lone marathon since the start of the pandemic, missing time after fracturing a tibia when hit by a motorcycle while training in June 2020.
Kenyan Lawrence Cherono is the only man other than Kipchoge to win two annual major marathons in one year since the start of 2015. He claimed Boston and Chicago in 2019 and hasn’t had a bad marathon in four years.
Ethiopian Lelisa Desisa is still just 32 years old, which is remarkable given his resume: Boston champion in 2013 and 2015, New York City champion in 2018 and world champion in 2019. He has a DNF and a 35th in two marathons over the last two and a half years, though.
Another Ethiopian, Birhanu Legese, is the third-fastest man in history and thus the fastest man in this field with a personal best of 2:02:48 from 2019. He won Tokyo in 2019 and 2020 and hasn’t finished worse than fifth in a marathon in the last three and a half years.
Ethiopians Lemi Berhanu (won Boston in 2016, second in 2021) and Evans Chebet (seventh-fastest man in history at 2:03:00) also deserves mention.
The fastest Americans in the field are Scott Fauble (2:09:09) and Colin Bennie (2:09:38), plus Olympians Jake Riley and Jared Ward.
Even for the greatest, running life can be a struggle.
The world’s fastest marathoner Eliud Kipchoge admits that he’s had to dig deep to find the strength to keep going.
Kenya’s Double Olympic men’s marathon champion says he often turns to the millions who have been inspired by his runs, his grandeur achievements, and his motivating quotes.
“I struggle with motivation, but I try all the time to get inspired by fans messages around the world,” Kipchoge said on Wednesday (6 April) during a webinar organised by his NN Running Team to mark five years of the athletics management group.
“I have been inspiring people around the world and [the thought of this] is what sometimes gives me the energy to jump out of bed and do the necessary.”
Marathon man Kipchoge on how he keeps focus
As amazing as his athletic accomplishments are, the world record holder has always been forthright on how much sometimes his passion hurts.
“In the journey of life, there [are] ups and downs. In marathon, there [are] a lot of challenges, ups and downs. There is pain in training, pain in running,” he shared on the documentary titled Kipchoge: The Last Milestone that focused on his successful attempt to become the first person to run a marathon in under two hours.
The 37-year-old champion cemented his position as the greatest distance runner of all time, by becoming the first man in 40 years to win marathon gold at successive Olympic Games, when he won at Tokyo 2020 in 2021.
And, as he targets an unprecedented third Olympic marathon title at Paris 2024, Kipchoge gave a sneak peak on how he manages to stay focused on his staggering racing goals.
“[When I am running] Many things are always crossing my mind from West to North, East to South, but I try to block them and concentrate fully on the road, concentrate fully on the task ahead and finishing the race,” the Kenyan, who enjoys his long runs, offered.
“After training for four months [for a race] I know that the only way to block what’s in my mind and concentrate fully is by making my mind easy and block any [distracting] messages coming in.”
During the hour-long webinar, the NN Running Team shared insights from the their management, physiotherapist, nutritionist, and Patrick Sang, the lead coach at the simple Kaptagat training camp.
“Running is a team sport. It is no longer an individual event as people think,” four-time Olympic medallist Kipchoge said.
“When NN formed the running team we discovered that the team is especially important especially in marathon running, helping each other both physically and mentally.”
That team was formed in April 2017 by Jos Hermens, who assembled the some of the best distance runners in the world, led by the two fastest marathoners, Ethiopia’s triple Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele, and Kipchoge, to train in structured training camps.
It’s a concept that the man who has won 14 of the 16 major marathons in his career claims has made him a better runner. Kipchoge also explained that during the pandemic he found it difficult to go back to training alone due to lockdown restrictions.
What next for Eliud Kipchoge in 2022
Kipchoge He opened his season on March 6 running the fastest time ever in Japan of 2:02:40 to win the Tokyo Marathon.
Since then, he has tapered down his training, focusing more on the gym sessions despite not ‘liking the weightlifting’ bit, but he’s enjoying working on his core muscles.
The huge Kelly Clarkson fan has not yet decided if he will do a marathon towards the end of the year, but has just added a new sport on his bucket list.
“I am bad at swimming. I don’t know how to swim…that’s on my bucket list…”
World marathon second fastest runner, Kenenisa Bekele from Ethiopia has withdrawn from Boston marathon that will be held in April 18, 2020.
The 39 year-old said he was “just not ready” and wanted to avoid repeating his last marathon in New York City in November, when he finished sixth while running six minutes slower than he did at the Berlin Marathon six weeks earlier. He said in a finish-area interview that day that he had a little hip problem.
“All focus on fall marathon,” his agent Jos Hermens said Tuesday. “He knows the next one has to be a good one!”
The three times Olympic champion was due to race the world’s oldest annual marathon for the first time.
The former 5000m and 10,000m world-record holder on the track, made his marathon debut in 2014 and ascended to win Berlin in 2016 in 2:03.03, then the second-fastest time in history.
The five times world champion has started eight marathons with these results: a win (in Berlin in 2019 in 2:01.41, missing Eliud Kipchoge‘s world record by two seconds), a runner-up, a third, two sixths and three DNFs. He also withdrew before the 2020 London Marathon.
The Kidane Mihret Church in the Kotobe neighbourhood in Addis Ababa is busy most afternoons. Ethiopian Orthodox Christians in the area often come to pray or give money and food to homeless who congregate around the church’s gates. Many wear gabi – a traditional white homemade cotton cloth – draped over their heads and shoulders.
Nearly every afternoon Berihu Aregawi can be seen walking, often in his orange and blue tracksuit, to his afternoon training session.
Kidane Mihret sits neatly at an important crossroads to get to the Yeka Forest in Addis Ababa, a small runner’s oasis reachable by a quick 15-minute walk from a bustling neighbourhood. Between 4-6pm dozens of Ethiopian athletes go to the forest to do their famous zig-zag jogs through eucalyptus trees, a tradition that’s well sedimented in the soil, with clearly-trodden paths.
Over the course of the past eight years, Aregawi has seldom missed one of these sessions. He made this daily journey long before he followed up a fourth-place finish at the Olympics with a Wanda Diamond League victory in Zurich in 2021. It was true leading up to his world 5km record on the final day of 2021 when he ran 12:49 in Barcelona. It was true before running his world indoor lead of 7:26.20 over 3000m in Karlsruhe. And it will continue to be true as the 20-year-old prepares for the World Athletics Indoor Championships Belgrade 22, and competitions moving forward.
Many Ethiopian athletes pursue long distance running to change their lives, and as soon as they come into some money, they start making investments to accrue more wealth and status. Aregawi is in no rush to do so.
“Not yet, not yet,” he commonly refrains, when asked about buying a home, a car, or even a television. “I don’t do much outside of training besides resting, but I do like to watch training videos and running content on YouTube.”
Aregawi uses his phone and has been inspired, amid a lot of running content, by the well-known Spartan lifestyle Eliud Kipchoge has become famous for. He’s watched many of the short documentaries where understanding English is not a prerequisite for getting a sense of the humility that some of the world’s top athletes share.
He also studies racing tactics by his Ethiopian role models, Kenenisa Bekele, Haile Gebreselassie, and, notably, Hagos Gebrhiwet. Like Aregawi, Gebrhiwet is also from the Tigray region of Ethiopia – the northern most state in Ethiopia that has been embroiled in a civil war since November 2020. Aregawi grew up with five younger sisters and one younger brother in the countryside and began running in local competitions, much to the chagrin of his father, who viewed the pursuit as too risky of an endeavour. Sceptical of the athletic profession, Aregawi’s father wanted him to take a more traditional path and ensure he could help to take care of the family. But once he was offered a club position in Addis, his father’s mind gradually changed.
“When I was starting out I really wanted to be like Hagos,” Aregawi said, “He was really the first from my region and it’s easier to identify with someone that comes from the same place you come from.”
Not too long later, he became Gebrhiwet’s training partner, “Training with Hagos on the national team has given me big steps in my training. He’s also been a really good friend to me, and always offered me help when I have adversity.”
After training for two years in Addis Ababa, Aregawi was selected for his first national team in 2018, when he competed at the World U20 Championships in Tampere, Finland. Aregawi finished third in the 10,000m, behind Rhonex Kipruto of Kenya and Jacob Kiplimo of Uganda.
“To represent Ethiopia for the first time and come in third was a really big deal,” he remembers of his first international trip. Finland in July could not have been more different to Ethiopia at that time of year. Ethiopia’s geographical position means the sun rises and sets at about the same time throughout the year, and July and August are characterised by heavy, sometimes torrential, rains. Mid-July in Tampere, by contrast, was sunny, temperate, and had only a few hours of darkness each day.
After his first podium finish in Tampere, Aregawi signed his first contract and returned to Ethiopia with the goal of representing the country at the Olympics. His incremental improvement has evidently been working, but until this past year, his progression has been overshadowed by some of his Olympic teammates, like Selemon Barega, who won the Olympic 10,000m title.
While many Olympians began to tire on the Wanda Diamond League circuit, Aregawi appeared to gain steam, culminating in a victory at the final 5000m held for the first time on the track built around Zurich’s city centre.
Since winning the Diamond League title, Aregawi has made some more changes relating to his training, returning to regular training with his club, Ethiopia Electric, and coach Melaku. His training partners are not big names, yet, but he’s enjoying working with Solomon Berihu and Haftam Abadi, two of several members of his club. Other changes in lifestyle can remain on the backburner.
“It’s important to stay humble and patient,” Aregawi said. “I don’t want to rush into the next stage of life because I still have big goals I haven’t accomplished.”
The changes appeared to have worked. In November, he thought he broke Joshua Cheptegei’s world 5km record when it appeared he finished under 12:50 in Lille, France, but the official results showed 12:52. One month later, on New Year’s Eve, he ran 12:49 in Barcelona to claim the record alongside Ejegayehu Taye, another Ethiopian rising distance talent.
Then, in January 2022, Aregawi claimed the world’s top indoor time over 3000m in Karlsruhe, Germany, running the second half of his race completely alone. His time of 7:26.20 puts him fifth on the world indoor all-time list and gives him the top time heading into the World Indoor Championships.
Due to the conflict in Tigray, Aregawi has had minimal conflict with his family members over the past two years. With phone and internet mostly disabled in Tigray, Aregawi has been running, and excelling, looking forward to a time when he can share his success his family.
Until then, when asked about lavish celebrations, Aregawi’s response is one of caution and gradualness. “Not yet, not yet,” he continues to say – an odd refrain beckoning for slowness from one of the world’s fastest runners.
Britain’s Marc Scott became the first European to break the 13 minute-barrier for the 5000m indoors at the Boston University David Hemery Valentine International that was held on Saturday (12) in Boston, USA.
Scott already held the European indoor record with 13:08.87 but he pulverized his two-year-old mark, becoming just the second British after Mo Farah to break the 13 minute-barrier with a 12:57.03 clocking.
The 28 year-old was still beaten by his training partners Grant Fisher and Mo Ahmed who set American and Canadian indoor records of 12:53.73 and 12:56.87 respectively.
The top three athletes move to fifth, seventh and eighth respectively on the world indoor all-time list which is still headed by Kenenisa Bekele’s world indoor 5000m record of 12:49.60 which has stood since 2004.
After the race, Scott confirmed he is targeting the 3000m at the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Belgrade, Serbia from 18-20 March.
Olympian Grant Fisher kicked off his 2022 campaign in stunning fashion at the Boston University Hemery Valentine Invitational that was held on Saturday (12) in Boston, USA.
Fisher is a former high school powerhouse who won two Foot Locker titles and broke 4:00 in the mile while balancing soccer with running, delivered on his immense promise and shattered the previous record by by more than seven seconds, clocking 12:53.73.
Fisher smashed Galen Rupp’s American indoor document of 13:01.26, and missed by a whisker the Bernard Lagat’s American outside record of 12:53.60.
Fisher finished fifth at the Tokyo Olympics in10,000m and ninth in the 5000m.
This times has also placed him to fifth place in the world lists of all time that includes Kenenisa Bekele ‘s world record time of 12.49.60 (the only man under 12:50 in history). He followed by the legend Haile Gebrselassie and Daniel Komen as well as Isaiah Koech both from Kenya.
Fisher is also the first non-Kenyan or Ethiopian in history.
The Area Record is 13:01.26 and was set in 2014 in Boston by Galen Rupp.
Fisher’s performance is subject to verification by the USATF Records Committee.
The organisers of the 126th edition of the Boston Marathon, which is the World Athletics Platinum Elite Label Road Race, have released their fastest ever elite list for men that will be held on Monday April 18, 2022 in Boston.
Three time Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele from Ethiopia leads the elite list of 12 men who have gone under the 2:06 mark. Bekele is the second fastest marathon runner in history with a personal best of 2:01.41.
“I recognise the tradition of the Boston Marathon and look forward to racing in April,” said Bekele. “For many years Ethiopia has had a strong tradition in Boston, and I am excited to join that legacy. I have long looked forward to racing the Boston Marathon.”
Seven of the past eight winners will also return to Boston, including 2021 champion Benson Kipruto of Kenya. Lawrence Cherono (2019), Yuki Kawauchi (2018), Geoffrey Kirui (2017), Lemi Berhanu (2016), and two times winner Lelisa Desisa (2015 and 2013) are the other six former winners.
The 2021 fastest man in marathon, Titus Ekiru, who holds a personal best of 2:02.57 that he got in Milan, will be battling for the top honors too. “I am happy to announce that I’ll be lining the street of Boston Marathon for my first time next April in the Boston Marathon]. Can’t wait for it!”
The 2020 world leader Evans Chebet, New York City Marathon winner Albert Korir, and three-time world half marathon champion Geoffrey Kamworor.
Eliud Kipchoge’s status as an all-time great of the sport cannot be disputed.
With his second successive Olympic title earlier this year, the Kenyan distance runner became even more of a marathon legend than he already was. It was his 11th victory in 13 official races over the distance, and adds to his growing list of accolades which includes multiple major marathon wins and the current world record of 2:01:39.
Not forgetting, of course, his sub-two-hour run in the marathon experiment in Vienna back in 2019.
His recent Olympic triumph on the streets of Sapporo – where he carved out the biggest winning margin in a men’s marathon at the Games since 1972 – confirmed that Kipchoge, now 37, is as dominant as ever. What makes his form more remarkable is the fact that he also excelled at the other end of the age spectrum, winning the world U20 cross-country title back in 2003 and then taking the senior world 5000m crown later that year while still a teenager.
Such longevity at this level is rare in the sport, matched only by icons such as Haile Gebrselassie, Merlene Ottey and Heike Drechsler. Leading a simple but focused life, Kipchoge says, has been key to his success to date.
Despite all he has achieved, Kipchoge still has some career goals he’d like to attain in the coming years. But he also has one eye on what he’d like to do in retirement.
Talking to the press on a recent trip organised by the NN Running Team, Kipchoge spoke all about his career, his future goals, his training, his life, and being an inspiration to others.
Eliud Kipchoge on…
… his career to date:
I enjoyed my 10 years on the track and I’m satisfied with the results I got. I won a world title in the 5000m, Olympic bronze and silver over 5000m, and silver at the Commonwealth Games. I also ran fast times and set a championship record with my world title in 2003, so I believe I left my mark on the track and I have no regrets about moving to the roads when I did.
For me it is critical to leave my imprint on the marathon by winning the majors, holding the world record, running under two hours, and, above all, rounding it all off by having won the Olympic Games.
There are many people who could break my marathon world record. I think Geoffrey Kamworor will one day break the world record. Joshua Cheptegei will also make his mark in the marathon, and Kenenisa Bekele will still be there.
… his future career goals:
Winning back-to-back Olympic golds was a great goal to have, and although I’d like to win a third one, I also have other goals on my bucket list. One is to run all of the Marathon Majors and win them all.
A sub-two-hour marathon (in an official race) is something to aim for, but if I don’t do it then I’m sure someone else will.
I do a 30km run every Sunday, then every two weeks I’ll do another run of either 30km or 40km. Every day, I try to put more kilometres on my muscles to help me reach my future goals.
I train, I eat, I rest. I rest my body and my mind, which are two different things. I try to be mindful, to know where I am all the time.
We need to embrace innovation and technology – it’s the only way the world moves forward and evolves. Technology is good for everyone, but above all it is a change that makes us united. The main purpose for this technology is to promote faster recovery. The goal is that one day you can run a marathon and the next day people working can go back into the office. I respect people’s opinions and would ask that they respect ours. Ultimately, we must unite and move forward.
… his outlook on life:
I’m an advocate of living a simple life. It’s important to live in a humble way.
That simple life makes me more aware of what I’m doing and makes me present in every moment. It makes my mind move. If I am not a simple man, my mind will not be either and I will forget what is important. This is how you lose contact with the outside world.
During the Covid pandemic, I learned how to deal with uncertainty. I also learned that the world is not small and is actually full of challenges. Like, sometimes positivity runs away and negativity comes and takes over. It’s then when you need extra knowledge to navigate through those uncertainties.
Being an athlete and working as a farmer are two different things. But the saying “you reap what you sow” applies to both pursuits. If you plant in a good way, you will reap good fruits. And as an athlete, if you train well, you will perform well.
… his future life as an inspiration and ambassador:
I would like to retire quietly. I would like to go around the world and run with people and inspire them. I’d also like to start a business to give work to others. I also want to focus on my foundation, and extend my work outside of Kenya, in Africa, to help change more lives.
I want to be an inspiration to kids at schools, and children of any sport. I want to be an inspiration to people when it comes to fitness. I would like everyone to be fitter and to get involved in conserving the environment. I would like everyone to be involved in the change and in the education of this planet. Through know-how, we can make the world move forward.
Children are our future, and they are the future of the planet. It is important to have a good running environment. Children will be healthy if they have fresh air to breathe. It will also improve their school performance.
It’s a big responsibility, but I’m really happy to be an ambassador for Paris 2024. It will be something very special to have 30,000 people from all around the world running the Olympic marathon. It is really unique.
If Kenya got the chance to host the World Championships, it would be great. I’d just be there to sit and watch all the young stars compete, but it would make me the happiest man to welcome the world’s best athletes to Kenya.
14 things you may not know about Eliud Kipchoge
Favourite football team:
Place(s) you’d like to visit:
I would like to visit South America and see what life is like there. I would also like to go to Haiti to see how they live there because people are suffering a lot there.
Best long-distance runner in history:
Biggest idol or inspiration:
Lewis Hamilton, for his concentration when in the car.
The moment of which you are most proud:
When I ran under two hours.
The sport you’d have done had you not been a runner:
One thing you really dislike:
Negativity in the world.
Hobbies outside of running:
Going for a walk with my family, going to the farm, and reading books to learn more.
Best time of your life outside of athletics:
When I went to the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi.
One thing you can’t live without:
In one sentence, describe your relationship with your coach:
He is my coach for sport, for business and for life.
Your life motto:
We need to be positive. It is the only way to enjoy life.
Kenya’s Albert Korir won the lived to his expectation as he trounced a deep field at the 50th edition of the New York City Marathon that was held on Sunday (7) in in New York, USA.
The 27 years-old returned to the New York City Marathon with an aim of finishing on the podium despite the heavy line-up that included Kenenisa Bekele, Abdi Nageeye and the defending champion Geoffrey Kamworor.
Korir came to this race with a personal best of 2:08.06 that he got at the 2019 Ottawa marathon. In 2019, Korir finished second behind Kamworor but this time round he was the man on a mission as he never let any distraction to deter him as he destroyed the rich field cutting the in 2:08.22