Kenyan marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge has revealed the dire circumstances athletes in his country are facing in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“Our country right now is totally upside down,” Eliud said on the Athlete365 webinar.
“We have many athletes in Kenya, and for 80 percent of them what puts food on their table – and for their families – is participating in races in Europe, North America, Asia and Australasia for financial means. That’s what they were relying on. So last week, we provided about 70 athletes from five counties in Kenya with food for the whole month.”
Kipchoge also likened the battle against Covid-19 to a long-distance race, in which only a measured approach will be successful.
“I’m a marathoner, and the marathon is like life,” he said. “We have many courses in the world – flat courses, uphill and downhill – and this period of Covid-19 is like an uphill course, where we need to live in a slow way, in a positive way, in order to finish the race well.”
Kipchoge also discussed some of the ways he and those around him have been helping those in need.
He revealed he has maintained a strict training regime during the lockdown but has adjusted his program to focus more on strength work and long runs rather than speed and tactics, as he continues to communicate with his coach, Patrick Sang, via WhatsApp.
The 35-year-old has been working with the Kenyan government and enlisting the support of his sponsors to deliver food packages to lower-level athletes in Kenya, to give them the fuel required to continue their training and help their families.
In partnership with ANA and Sports Leo