NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 12 – President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday phoned Eliud Kipchoge, assuring him of the nation’s support as he undertakes an unprecedented challenge of running a marathon under 2 hours.
Kipchoge, a two-time Berlin champion with a personal best time of 2 Hours, 1 Minute and 39 seconds is set to begin the race dubbed INEOS159, in which he is expected to clock 1 hour 59 seconds, at 9.15am local time on Saturday.
The renowned Kenyan athlete missed the mark by 26 seconds during the Nike Breaking 2 project in Monza, Italy in 2017. In his second attempt to run a sub-two hour marathon, Kipchoge will have a total of 41 pacemakers accompanying him.
In his phone call to the star athlete, the Head of State exuded confidence in Kipchoge’s ability to attain outstanding results in the race saying the entire country was rallying behind him.
“I am feeling confident and you’re in our prayers. We pray that you’ll be successful but for us it is not just the success but the effort you put in my brother,” he said.
“We appreciate your effort for humanity. May God bless you and continue protecting you and give you all the strength and courage you need and remember you have 46 million us behind you! I’ll call you when you’re done,” President Kenyatta remarked.
President Kenyatta today made a phone call to @EliudKipchoge and wished him success in tomorrow's #INEOS159 challenge. He assured the elite runner of the entire country's backing as he sets out to make history as the first human being to run a full marathon in under two hours. pic.twitter.com/rf230kkZea
— State House Kenya (@StateHouseKenya) October 11, 2019
Deputy President William Ruto arrived in Vienna, Austria on Friday to cheer on Kipchoge and was seen jogging at the Stadtpark, Vienna, in the company of Ambassador Robinson Githae.
— William Samoei Ruto, PhD (@WilliamsRuto) October 11, 2019
The Deputy President’s spouse, Rachel, is also in Austria to witness the race.