Shura Kitata On What It Took To Beat Eliud Kipchoge In The London Marathon

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Shura Kitata On What It Took To Beat Eliud Kipchoge In The London Marathon

What does it take to beat Eliud Kipchoge, the only man to ever run a marathon in under two hours?

Extreme training, talent and – in the case of London marathon champion Shura Kitata – a good breakfast.

Last year the Ethiopian finished fourth in the English capital, a race won by Kenya’s Kipchoge, with Kitata tweeting later that he only had fruit for breakfast and was running on empty – “I felt my stomach touching my back, [I was] super hungry” – after 35km.

This year, having learned from his mistake, he fuelled up before the race.

“I ate everything,” he told BBC Sport Africa.

“I had soup, bread, eggs and yogurt – everything that I could to boost my energy and it helped me keep my energy up and I was able to win the battle.”

The battle was to unseat the man who has dominated marathon running since 2014 – world record holder and Olympic champion Kipchoge, 35, who was on a ten-race winning streak and eyeing a record fifth London title.

And for the first time there was a chink in Kipchoge’s armour as he finished eighth, later explaining that an ear problem affected him.

https://www.bbc.com

The cold and wet conditions were not the best for distance running, with Kitata’s winning time of two hours five minutes and 41 seconds reflecting that, but the Ethiopian believes the weather gave him the edge.

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“When I saw the rain I was excited because I had been training in heavy rain season in Ethiopia,” explained his nation’s first male winner in London since 2013.

“One day I went to train in Sodere, a place outside the capital, and it rained so much that the town flooded and the coach had to come to my rescue.

“When the pandemic struck, I didn’t just stay at home. I was working with my coach for five months. It was not special because I beat Eliud Kipchoge, it was special because I worked hard.”

Shura Kitata On What It Took To Beat Eliud Kipchoge In The London Marathon

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