2015 is proving to be another great year for Kenyan athletes at the marathon distance. The Kenyans swept the men’s and women’s titles at three major marathons – Berlin, Chicago and New York.
Leading the Kenyan charge was Eliud Kipchoge, who clocked 2:04:42 to win the London Marathon April 26th, and then ran 2:04:00 to win the Berlin Marathon five months later.
Kipchoge will celebrate his 31st birthday on November 5th. He won silver and bronze medals for Kenya at 5000m at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2004 Athens Olympics.
After winning Berlin, Kipchoge told “The Energetic” Andy Edwards he hopes to win another Olympic medal in 2016 in the marathon.
Based on his victories in Berlin and London, Eliud Kipchoge is my pick for best marathon runner of 2015.
But based on Olympic history, it’s far from certain Kipchoge will medal in Rio next year.
Kenya’s dominance of the marathon hasn’t carried over to Olympic competition, which tends to be more about tactics and less about speed.
The late Sammy Wanjiru, who died tragically in a fall off a balcony at his home in 2011, is the only Kenyan to win the Olympic gold in the marathon. Wanjiru won the marathon at the 2008 Beijing Games in an Olympic record time of 2:06:32.
History also tells us, though, that Eliud Kipchoge has to be considered one of the favorites for the gold medal when the 2016 Olympic men’s marathon is staged in Rio de Janeiro.
In his six career marathons, Kipchoge has won five and placed second in the other.