Kenyan Kelvin Kiptum (23) achieved great success in athletics last year. He has run just three competitive marathons in his career, and over the weekend set a new world record with a time of 2:00.35 in Chicago. This is a massive improvement of 34 seconds over Eliud Kipchoge’s previous record.
– After five kilometers, I knew I wanted to set a new world record, Kiptom said at one Press Conference After the race.
He has scored under 2.02 in all three marathons he has completed in Valencia, London and now the USA. This means he ran three of the six fastest times in training.
Naturally, this caused a stir, and one wonders whether the 23-year-old will be the first in the world to reach the magic two-hour limit (in an official competition).
Kiptom guessed sheep and goats ten years ago, and only gained attention in Europe in 2019 when he ran the half marathon in Lisbon (with a time of 59.54). He also participated in half marathons in Copenhagen, Valencia, Lens and Belfort.
Save the coach
Then came the Corona pandemic. After his debut with a time of 2:01.53 in the Valencia Marathon (last December) Kiptum said He “doesn’t have a coach.”
According to what was reported by the French News Agency Hey hoHowever, he has worked with Jervis Hakizimana of Rwanda in recent years. The marathon runner himself now says he has worked with the coach for two years.
“My focus was on Chicago, but I still have time for the Berlin Marathon… I have a coach, Jervis Hakizimana, who I have worked with for two years now.” – Kelvin Kiptum pic.twitter.com/oJEQbLWuI1
– Wanjiku Reports (@WanjikuReports) October 10, 2023
The duo reportedly met in the Kenyan city of Chepkoryu. Hakizimana, who was a long-distance runner himself, trained in Kenya for several years. In 2021, the coach and Kiptom started a marathon program.
Television images from the record race in Chicago show Kiptom extending his hands in the air and cheering several meters before the finish line, with some reacting that he did not look tired. He also had the following conversation with a reporter after the race:
-Have you never felt pain during a marathon?
-You have or not?
– I have not.
For his part, the coach expressed his concern that the student might be injured.
– he is very strong. He always trains properly. He is in his best years, but I fear that he will get injured at some point, Hakizimana tells AFP and continues:
-He trains a lot. At this speed, he is in danger of exploding. I asked him to slow down, but he wouldn’t. She told him that he would be finished in five years, and that he needed to calm down to persevere in athletics.
– Running, eating, sleeping
According to Hakizimana, Kiptom sometimes runs more than 300 kilometers a week.
Preparations for the marathon begin four months in advance. Kiptom then runs a distance of between 280 and 300 kilometers in the second and third months, before this distance gradually decreases in the last month before the race.
– There is no weekly rest. We rest when he is tired. If he shows no signs of fatigue or pain within a month, we continue. All he does is run, eat and sleep, says Hakizimana.
The Olympic Games in Paris next year are a big goal for Kiptom.
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