Deputy President William Ruto is set to leave the country Thursday night for Vienna, Austria, in support of world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge as he runs the historical INEOS 1:59 challenge.
Speaking on Thursday at Malinya grounds in Kakamega, DP Ruto passed his remorse saying he will not be able to attend the Saturday burial of former Senator Boni Khalwale’s first wife, Adelaide, as he will be away in Vienna on an official capacity.
The DP said he will be representing and extending the government’s support to Kipchoge at the much-hyped INEOS 1:59 challenge which is funded by British billionaire Sir. James Ratcliff.
“I would have wished, a lot, to be here on Saturday. However, accept my apologies as I will not be able to come because, as you know, Kenya is a sports nation…and because of that, we have one of us who will be going to make history by becoming the first man to run a marathon in under two hours,” he said.
“Kenyans have said that their government must be represented when that history is made. For that reason, President Uhuru Kenyatta and I have agreed that I will go to ensure the flag of Kenya is flown high.”
The DP’s wife, Rachel Ruto, had earlier stated that, just like she was present in Italy when Kipchoge broke the world record in 2017, she will also be in Vienna to cheer the marathon legend.
We celebrate our own Eliud Kipchoge!
Just like We did in 2017 in Monza, Italy, when he broke the world record running the marathon in 2:00:25*, We will be there once again in Vienna, Austria, cheering him on as the greatest marathoner of all time. pic.twitter.com/bbbDtOVaMH
— Mama Rachel Ruto (@MamaRachelRuto) October 10, 2019
Kipchoge on Thursday compared running the sub two-hour marathon to going to the moon saying: “I am running to make history, to show that no human is limited. It’s not about money, it’s about showing a generation of people that there are no limits.”
The 34-year-old Olympic champion set the world record of 2:01.39 at the Berlin marathon last September, smashing the previous one by 78 seconds, but said Saturday’s race is a completely different challenge.
“Running Berlin and running Vienna are different. Running Berlin is for winning and running a world record, Vienna is like going to the moon,” he added.
A 41-man pacing squad will support Kipchoge, who missed out by 26 seconds in Monza, Italy, in May 2017.
Kipchoge said he had chosen Vienna as it was a “sporting city”, the course was fast and because of the Prater park. “It’s a natural environment,” he said.
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