Eliud Kipchoge defeated at Boston Marathon

18 April 2023

Eliud Kipchoge came to Boston seeking to add the world’s most storied annual marathon to his unrivaled trophy case. The result of a sixth place left open-ended whether he can achieve two outstanding, unprecedented goals in under 2 hours. Eliud Kipchoge—who won gold medals in the Olympic Games 10K run this year and last year, came to Beantown with a chance at setting a new course record.

“I live for the moments where I get to challenge the limits,” was posted on Kipchoge’s social media four hours after he finished. “It’s never guaranteed, it’s never easy. Today was a tough day for me. I pushed myself as hard as I could but sometimes, we must accept that today wasn’t the day to push the barrier to a greater height.”

Kipchoge struggled in the famed hills of Boston, falling behind around 19 miles before finishing 3 minutes, 29 seconds back from Kenyan rival Evans Chebet. Chebet became the first male runner to repeat as Boston Marathon champion since 2008 and clocked 2:05:54 for his victory.

“As for Kipchoge,” Chebet said of what happened, according to the Boston Athletic Association, “Eliud did not seem like a threat because we had trained well.”

Kipchoge’s defeat marked a rare blemish on an otherwise perfect marathon record. His 18 career marathons have included two world-record-breaking runs and two Olympic gold medals.

Kipchoge hopes to become the first person ever to win three Olympic marathons next year. However, doubt was thrown on this goal Monday along with his attempt at winning all six annual World Marathon Majors: Kipchoge has won four—just missing Boston and New York City’s November marathon—but that race isn’t counted by officials as one of the series’ majors.

Hoping to win, he abandoned his usual spring marathon plan of racing London for a possible victory run in Boston—the world’s oldest annual marathon dating back to 1897.

Kipchoge has yet to speak with reporters, but he may be asked whether a failed water bottle grab just before he lost contact with the leaders contributed to his defeat Monday. The weather at Boston on Monday was just like it had been during London in 2020—rainy and miserable.

Kipchoge’s only other 26.2-mile loss was when he was runner-up at his second career marathon in Berlin in 2013.

He is expected to race two more marathons before the Paris Games. Kipchoge will be nearly 40 come Paris, more than one year older than the oldest Olympic champion in any running event, according to Olympedia.org. Kenya has yet to name its three-man Olympic marathon team.

“In sports you win and you lose and there is always tomorrow to set a new challenge,” was also posted on Kipchoge’s social media. “Excited for what’s ahead.”https://olympics.nbcsports.com/2023/04/17/eliud-kipchoge-boston-marathon-evans-chebet/#:~:text=Kipchoge%20was%20dropped%20around%2019,as%20Boston%20champion%20since%202008.

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