One determined man sets a sporting first
Trying to do things better is something we all do. Do you try for better marks in class than last month? Or to beat your friends at games? It can take a lot of effort. But do you find that making an effort is worth it?
Eliud Kipchoge thinks so.
He’s the first person in history to run a marathon in less than two hours. A marathon is 42 km and it would take most people all day to go so far on foot – even if they are pretty fit.
Last year, he set the world record for a marathon race – 2 hours, 1 minute and 39 seconds. People thought doing it in less than two hours was impossible for a human being. Eliud wanted to prove people wrong.
Doing it in a real race is too difficult – other runners get in the way. But Eliud set up a special route and got friends to take turns running in front of him to shield him from the wind and to run at just the right speed.
He broke the 2-hour barrier by 20 seconds, completing the course in 1 hour, 59 minutes and 40 seconds.
Friends in Kenya call him “The Philosopher” because he’s always reading. Eliud says his time was a victory for his brain – it overcame his body’s pain and kept him sure of his success right from the start.
But he also says his triumph is for the whole “human family”. In showing it was not impossible, he inspired us to all achieve our goals:
“I’m sending a message to every individual in this world,” says Eliud, “that when you work hard, when you actually concentrate, when you set your priorities high, when you actually set your goals, and put them in your heart and in your mind, you will accomplish, without any question.”
Remember this, Eliud says: