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Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge to race in Tottenham Hotspur's virtual marathon

ATHLETICS By Waweru Titus | June 7th 2020
World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge and former Tottenham Hotspur's Victor Wanyama pose for a photo in England. [Photo: Premier League]

World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge is set to race in a global virtual 42km race organised by English Premier League side, Tottenham Hotspur.

The global marathon relay set for the weekend is open to Tottenham fans around the world to take part in.

The race dubbed, MA RA TH ON which is free to enter, is a virtual team relay where runners can register either in teams of four or as an individual and be placed in another group of three.

During the relay, each runner will run 10.5km between Saturday and Sunday at a location that suits them, to make up a collective marathon distance.

Logged on a running app, your team’s cumulative time will be placed on a virtual leader board to show how you compared with some of the world’s best.

Kipchoge is among members of Supporters’ Clubs from across England, the Netherlands, South Africa, the United States and Canada, who have been invited to participate.

Also involved is a legendary former player and 1991 FA Cup winner David Howells, who was up for the challenge when asked to take part.

“A football club is a family, players and fans together. On the weekend we will all run as one, good luck to all fans of Tottenham. Great to have you guys on the start line,” Kipchoge said in a Twitter post.

To add further incentive, each participating team has the chance to be one of 10 teams that will see a running superstar join their squad. These include Kipchoge, Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele, Uganda’s Joshua Cheptegei and Kenya's Geoffrey Kamworor.

Kipchoge, who last visited Spurs two days after winning the 2019 London Marathon, lauded the plan by the North London club.

“It has been an unusual time whereby all runners had to readjust their plans after having prepared well towards their own goals for this past spring season.

“We all look forward to a positive future and I believe that this a great first step in that direction. Marathon is a sport whereby elite athletes and fun runners are actually all racing in the same race. It’s what makes our sport unique and I find the essence of this to be beautiful,” Kipchoge told Tottenham.

He further added: “Every runner has their own pace, their own background and their own motives to why they run. I am very excited to join someone’s team whereby we can all have a really positive experience, run towards a goal together and share stories afterwards, just like we normally would after a race together.”

The marathon legend has been using his free time to train and distribute food items to vulnerable athletes who have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic in Kenya.

Kipchoge reiterated in May that he is still eager to compete against Bekele on October 4 (London Marathon) despite the Covid-19 conundrum.

The race, which was originally scheduled for Sunday, April 26, was postponed to Sunday, October 4, 2020, following the rapid spread of Covid-19 cases in the United Kingdom. 

Kipchoge stole world headlines following his historic feat in Vienna, Austria, in October last year where he became the only known marathoner to break the sub-two-hour barrier in the INEOS 1:59 Challenge

Bekele, about a month earlier, was shy of the world marathon record after winning the Berlin Marathon in 2:01:41 seconds, falling TWO seconds short of Kipchoge's 2:01:39 record, set in the same race in 2018.

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