Kelvin Kiptum, the 23-year-old Kenyan sensation who recently stunned the world with his world record-breaking Chicago Marathon win, is already looking ahead to an even more ambitious goal – breaking the elusive two-hour barrier in the marathon.
Despite his recent triumph, Kiptum is not resting on his laurels and has announced his participation in the Rotterdam Marathon on April 14, 2024, with the aim of conquering the sub-two-hour challenge.
In a recent interview with Pulse Sports, Kiptum shared his motivations for choosing Rotterdam over other renowned marathons, stating, “This course is fast. In addition to the course, I also remember the atmosphere in Rotterdam. I wanted to run in Rotterdam in 2022, but due to an injury, I had to cancel and postpone my debut in the marathon.”
The decision to opt for Rotterdam over London, where Kiptum secured his 2023 title, is justified by several factors.
Rotterdam’s flatter course, with only around 100m in elevation gain compared to London’s 145m, provides a more favorable terrain for Kiptum’s pursuit.
Additionally, the one-week earlier timing of the Rotterdam Marathon allows for a more comfortable 16-week recovery and training period before the Olympic marathon, as opposed to the tighter 15-week turnaround offered by London.
Kiptum’s manager, Marc Corstjens, plays a crucial role in assembling the elite field in Rotterdam, ensuring top talent vies for the men’s Olympic qualification standard of 2:08:10.
Speaking to Pulse Sports about the strategic significance of Rotterdam, Corstjens emphasized, “2024 is an important year for Kelvin. Rotterdam is the perfect fit for him, given the timing and the level of competition it attracts. We are confident in his ability to make history.”
“I went to Chicago to improve the course record; the world record was a surprise to me. To take it from Eliud Kipchoge is special. We’ve both been busy the last few weeks, I haven’t spoken to him yet.”
As Kiptum gears up for the Rotterdam Marathon and sets his sights on the sub-two-hour marathon, the world watches in anticipation of another potential groundbreaking moment in the realm of marathon running.
With his career only just beginning, Kiptum expressed his eagerness to continue running for a long time, noting, “My career has only just started, and I want to continue running for a long time. Things are going well now, and I think I can handle even more.”
This decision marks the latest chapter in Kiptum’s meteoric rise in the marathon scene.
From his jaw-dropping debut at the 2022 Valencia Marathon with a time of 2:01:53 – the third-fastest marathon in history and the fastest debut ever – to breaking Eliud Kipchoge’s course record in the 2023 London Marathon with a time of 2:01:25, Kiptum has been a star in the making.
With the sub-two-hour barrier in his sights, Rotterdam presents a crucial opportunity for Kiptum to achieve what was once deemed unbreachable.
Do you think Kelvin Kiptum will be the first to go under two hours in the marathon?