Kelvin Kiptum has enjoyed a remarkable 2023, breaking the men’s marathon world record, and the Kenyan now wants to run the first sub-two-hour marathon in Rotterdam next April.

In October, running in just his third marathon, Kiptum took 34 seconds off the previous record in winning the Chicago Marathon in two hours and 35 seconds. He also won the London Marathon in April in 2:01:25, which at the time was the second-fastest time ever for a marathon.

When asked what was next in his sights, Kiptum told Gazzetta dello Sport: “It’s already known, the Rotterdam Marathon on April 14.

“I would like to grow further, and so, inevitably, break the barrier.”

Kiptum has his reasons for choosing Rotterdam as his next marathon.

“The organisation is linked to my management,” Kiptum said.

“In 2022 I was supposed to run it, to make my debut but a slight injury stopped me. This will be the right time.”

The intense training involved to chase these records means Kiptum sees his family only once a week during these periods.

“It’s a choice made in full conscience, in agreement with my wife, to focus 100% on my goals,” the 24-year-old said.

One of those goals will be to compete at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, and Kiptum is one of 10 pre-selected for the Kenyan team.

“There are three places and I want to be there,” Kiptum said.

“As a team we will collaborate, but then everyone looks out for themselves. I could also aim for the Tokyo 2025 World Championships, I saw the race in Budapest which fascinated me.”

For now, Kiptum’s training and thoughts all lead to Rotterdam, and the dream of becoming the first athlete to ever run the marathon in under two hours.

“I’ll go there to run fast, the course is ideal and the crowds in the streets push you to give your best. I would love to be a part of the rich history of this marathon.

“If the preparation goes in the right direction, with peaks of 270 kilometres per week, and the weather conditions permit, I will go for it.” REUTERS

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