When ordinary folk ran with Olympic icons
Imagine running on the same team as Olympic icons Eliud Kipchoge, Kenenisa Bekele and Geoffrey Kamworor.
Well that’s exactly what happened at the weekend as normal people across the world ran with Olympic champions in the ‘Run as One’ worldwide virtual relay marathon.
Teams of four completed a marathon by running 10.5k each, and just by entering you were in with a chance to run alongside some of the biggest names in sport.
But it wasn’t just running superstars who stepped up, Tottenham Hotspur football club, Olympic triathlon gold medallist from Germany Jan Frodeno and Spanish sky runner/ultramarathon/daredevil Kilian Jornet also got involved.
The event was organised by NN Running Team, an international team of elite long-distance runners managed by a company in the Netherlands.
Kipchoge, whose historic sub-two hour run in Vienna last October broke new ground, teamed up with amateur runners from Brazil.
The Kenyan ran 10.5k in 31:28 seconds, not the fastest time on the leaderboard, but this event was about much more than running fastest or coming first.
“It makes me incredibly happy to see the world running as one this weekend,” said Kipchoge the day before his run.
“Today I ran for my Brazilian team,” he posted on Instagram after his 10.5km run, “but together we have all run as one. Runners from all over the world have joined us and showed how ours is a running world.”
“Good luck everybody who is taking part today,” said Kipchoge as he signed off on Sunday with many more runners still to come.
Another world-record holder and three-time Olympic champion Kenenisa Bekele ran with Joris, Stephen, Andy and Tharkun from the Netherlands.
The Ethiopian ran his 10.5km in 32:57 on his own track that he built in Sululta, 25 minutes outside the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
The 5,000m and 10,000m World record-holder built a six-lane all-weather track which is home to many athletes training and dreaming of Olympic glory. They call it Bekele’s ‘field of dreams’.
“It was a great pleasure to run my 10.5k as part of the MA RA TH ON challenge on my own track in Sululta,” he posted.
Ethiopia’s national hero was disappointed that the 2020 London Marathon was postponed as he was ready to run against Kipchoge.
According to media reports in Spain, we may see this dream duel happen at the Valencia 2020 marathon in December.
It was hardly any surprise that half-marathon world record holder Geoffrey Kamworor put in the fastest time, going 10.6 km in 30:08.
This time Kipchoge wasn’t there to greet him at the finish line like he did at the 2019 New York marathon, but Kamworor was pleased with the run. The Kenyan ran with a team from the USA. -Olympic Channel