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Kiptum's diet: What powers world record holder to victories

Athletics
 Kenya's Kelvin Kiptum lunges to the finish line as he wins men's elite race at 2023 London Marathon in London. [Xinhua]

Ugali, rice, and indigenous vegetables. Those are the common foods that power marathon record-breaker Kelvin Kiptum to stunning victories in long-distance races.

Kiptum, who shattered Eliud Kipchoge’s marathon world record at the Chicago 42km race on Sunday, October 8 described his meals as simple.

Speaking in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County where he was accorded a heroic reception on Wednesday, Kiptum urged athletes to live simple lives and run clean.

“My biggest secret is training hard. I take simple meals which include Ugali, Rice, and indigenous vegetables,” a soft-spoken Kiptum said.

He said he was setting sights on lowering the 2:00:35 record he set in Chicago.

A number of fans, relatives, Athletics Kenya officials, and Elgeyo Marakwet leaders welcomed the new marathon world record breaker in a reception punctuated with song dance, and partaking of traditional milk – mursik.

He was received at the Eldoret International Airport and escorted on a convoy that snaked its way through Eldoret town to Elgeyo Marakwet through Iten road.

Later in the evening, Chepsamo-Kiptum’s village came alive as local fans, relatives, and villagers welcomed the London and Valencia marathon champion.

“I am happy for the reception. I thank my County for welcoming me home. I am sure my fans are also happy,” said Kiptum.

Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Wisley Rotich said he was hopeful that Kiptum would be the first athlete to run a sub-two-hour marathon in a competitive race.

“You are an inspiration to generations, As the governor I promise to continue promoting sports. We want to inspire young athletes so that we transform our County through sports,” Rotich said.

In Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet leaders and AK officials led by the federation’s president Jack Tuwei called for the completion of the iconic Kamariny stadium, saying inadequate facilities were hampering the nurturing of budding talents.

Governor Rotich said his administration has been maintaining the stalled Kamariny stadium to make it usable for training awaiting the completion of works that started in 2016.

“We will be going back to the President (William Ruto) to request him to expedite the completion of Kamariny Stadium so that we can have enough training facilities,” he said.

Tuwei, the AK president said: “The government is looking at Kamariny. Kamriny is one of the oldest stadiums in Kenya. I want to thank the coaches and the governor for improving the incomplete stadium for use by athletes.”

Athletics enthusiasts urged the Ministry of Sports to increase the awards offered to athletes who break world records to inspire young sportspersons.

Eldoret-based athletics fan Benjamin Leting said: “We want our athletes to be supported and encouraged to do well. I thank the AK president for welcoming Kiptum in Eldoret and always taking the leading role in the war against doping.”

Thomas Magut, a retired athlete who won the 1999 Madrid Marathon said Kiptum’s performance should trigger the promotion of the country as a sports tourism destination and improved welfare of retired athletes.

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