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Faith Nyasuguta 

King of Marathon and Olympic gold medalist Eliud Kipchoge has detailed that he was raised by a single parent, and that it contributed to him being the great man he is today.

Kipchoge, who currently enjoys a superhuman record of running a marathon under two hours during the 2019 Ineos competition and the most recent Berlin race says that growing up without a father greatly influenced his decisions in life.

Kipchoge, the last-born in a family of four, stated that he received very little attention in his childhood, unlike other children. He said the little attention he got gave him the drive to push harder to create that attention for himself.

Eliud Kipchoge /Berlin Marathon/

However, he noted that his mother perfectly filled the gap of a father figure, raising him to become a decent man in society.

“Growing up without a father contributed a lot to my working hard. When you have less attention, not like other people, then you need to work extra, extra.”

“But all in all, I don’t complain because I was taken care of and that is why I’m here now. But I still advocate and believe that working hard is the only way to achieve more in this world,” Kipchoge told Believe in the Run.

In an earlier interview with Parents Africa, Kipchoge stated he never had an opportunity to meet his dad and he never discussed the same with his mother while growing up.

“I grew up in a humble, single-parent home as the last-born of four children. My mum was a widow. I never met my father. He passed on before I was born and it’s not something I discussed with my mum growing up,” Kipchoge stated.

Eliud Kipchoge’s mother /AFP/

Additionally, Kipchoge hailed his coach Patrick Sang who took him under his camp in 2002. Kipchoge described the three times silver medalist as a pillar in his life.

“I met Patrick Sang 18 years ago. We actually met in the same village, because we come from the same village. He used to provide me the program and the facilities. But after one year, then I actually joined the camp where communication is situated now in Camp Iten. I received many advices such as coaching advice, business advice.”

He added, ” Patrick has really been a pillar in my life as far as sport is concerned. As far as socially is concerned , as far as anything else business-wise is concerned. So he is a strong pillar and I can say I’m lucky to have met him.”

Coach Patrick Sang /INEOS/

Moreover, the king of marathon revealed what he plans to do to give back to society. Kipchoge stated he has started building a library that will be able to accommodate 500 students.

“I’m building a huge library in my home area now, a very huge one which can accommodate 500 students. It is a library to actually put books and the students will actually have to be able to access the resources,” Kipchoge noted.

He is also engaging in climate activism where he has acquired huge tracks of land where he will plant trees.

“On the other hand, where I’m training half the time of conserving the environment, I took that hundred and thirty acres of the forests to plant indigenous trees as one way of actually helping climate change.”

Recently, a documentary, “Kipchoge: The Last Milestone” was being aired, detailing how he became the first human to run a marathon in under two hours. 



Unknown to many, Kipchoge’s success is also dependent on a volunteer who is tasked with passing the bottle to him at specific points during the race. 

Claus-Henning Schulke’s role is vital considering the toll it takes on an athlete’s body when participating in a long-distance race.  

To counter dehydration, the drink is critical to an athlete’s ability to refuel and perform at maximum level. The race fluids mainly consist of a blend of water, carbohydrates, and energy bars. 

Before the race begins, Schulke usually strides along the starting lineup with his bicycle. As soon as the race starts, he takes off, all geared up and in with a backpack of bottles. 

His technique is to wear a Kipchoge nameplate on his forearm, informing the athlete that he has his bottle. This allows Kipchoge not to break his stride or lose focus. 


The 56-year-old is an amateur triathlete who works as a project manager for a Berlin-based construction company.

He’s been volunteering at the Berlin Marathon since 1998 and is now the senior member of the 30-person crew in charge of getting the elite athletes their drinks during the race.

Due to his vast experience in handing out bottles to Kipchoge, he is nicknamed Der Flaschenbro which means “The Bottle Bro.”

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Faith Nyasuguta

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