(18-Feb) -- Reigning Olympic Marathon champion and world record holder Eliud Kipchoge will run his next marathon in Hamburg, Germany, on April 11, his sponsor NN Running Team announced this morning. Kipchoge, 36, will take place in the specially-arranged NN Mission Marathon, an elite-only race which will allow only about 100 highly qualified athletes to take part. This will be Kipchoge's only marathon prior to his Olympic Games title defense on Sunday, August 8, in Sapporo, Japan.
PHOTO: Eliud Kipchoge celebrates after setting the marathon world record in Berlin in 2018 (photo courtesy of NN Running Team; used with permission)
Because of the pandemic Kipchoge ran only one race in 2020, the special October version of the Virgin Money London Marathon where he finished eighth in 2:06:49. Prior to that he was undefeated in ten consecutive marathon starts since 2014. He set the ratified World Athletics world record of 2:01:39 at the BMW Berlin Marathon in September, 2018, but he famously became the first man to cover the standard 42.195 kilometer marathon distance in under two hours at an exhibition event in Vienna in October, 2019, where he clocked 1:59:41. That performance could not be ratified as a world record because it did not meet all World Athletics conditions for record-setting.
Interestingly, Kipchoge began his marathon career in Hamburg in April, 2013, where he won the mass-participation Haspa Marathon Hamburg in 2:05:30. That race will not be held this April due to the pandemic.
"In Hamburg I am going back to the genesis of my marathon career," Kipchoge said through a statement. "I hope to inspire many people around the world by running a beautiful race in the streets of this beautiful city."
The NN Mission Marathon will be held on closed, 10.5 km city-center loop.