The world record holder returns to London to award the winners of the new TCS Mini London Marathon
Eliud Kipchoge, four-time London Marathon champion and the fastest marathon runner of all time, today (Saturday 1 October) returned to The Mall in a different guise, as ambassador for the brand new TCS Mini London Marathon.
Fresh from smashing his own world record last week in Berlin – slicing 30 seconds off his previous best with an astonishing time of 2:01:09 – the Kenyan legend was back in London to present medals to the rising stars taking part in the championship races of the TCS Mini London Marathon, held the day before the 26.2-mile event.
A mini event with massive success
The championship element saw thousands of under-17s complete 2.6K on the same famous finishing stretch of the TCS London Marathon. In fact, they were the very first people to experience that incredible Finish Line-feeling this year and pass under the spectacular new digital gantry.
Kipchoge personally presented medals to each age category winner in the championship races, which saw boys and girls from all regions of the UK and London boroughs convene in central London for an experience they’ll never forget.
The reimagined TCS Mini London Marathon also included an accessible one-mile event, which again culminated on The Mall and gave children of all abilities the chance to enjoy a special sample of the London Marathon experience.
Kipchoge was motivated to inspire today’s participants to keep active. Speaking ahead of the event, he said: “I’m really happy to be an ambassador for the TCS Mini London Marathon and get a chance to cheer on the next generation. They are our future. Thousands of young people will be crossing the Finish Line today, which is a really positive thing.
“I always say that this world is a running world, and I’m looking forward to seeing the faces of the children running today.”
Inspiring grass roots running
Despite his modest demeanour, Kipchoge boasts four of the five fastest marathon times ever recorded and is the only person to break the two-hour marathon mark, having successfully completed the bespoke INEOS 1:59 Challenge (not recognised as a world record) in 2019.
But while his achievements are mind-blowing, his philosophy on running is simple.
“Running is healthy for your body and your mind,” he said. “It helps children do well at school and build their fitness, which is why I encourage kids to run for 15 minutes every day. Running makes a real difference. It is the best.”
This love of running is what drives 37-year-old Kipchoge himself to keep going. For him, age is just a number and it’s clear he’s not done yet. He still has many more miles to bank and his own significant, new personal best to try to beat.
He said: “The future still looks good for me and I’ll hang up my running shoes when my mind tells me to. For now, I still have time to do more races.
“The future of marathon running is great – the world is moving towards the marathon, and I trust that at some point an athlete will go under two hours in an open competition. I can’t say that this athlete will be me, but I’ll still try to improve on the world record.
“Can I go even faster? Absolutely, yes!”
And it’s this kind of optimism and self-belief that has radiated across Westminster today. Whether they progress to world-leading level or choose to keep moving for fitness or fun, the participants in the new-look TCS Mini London Marathon have all been inspired to keep running, walking or wheeling their way.