In the week of the fifth anniversary of the NN Running we recall five memorable moments from 2021 & 2022.
Mission accomplished for Eliud!
Organised by the NN Running Team, Global Sports Communication and the Hamburg Marathon, the NN Mission Marathon offered hope and opportunity for the elite marathon community during the global pandemic.
Dubbed “the fastest way to Tokyo” the race provided a welcome addition to the race calendar following the cancellation of dozens of marathons and a chance for athletes to bank an Olympic qualification time.
Held at Twente Airport in the Netherlands, Eliud Kipchoge cantered to victory in 2:04:30 with German Katharina Steinruck taking top spot in the women’s race in 2:25:59.
Eliud said of the race: “To organise this in the middle of a pandemic and to show people can still run and deliver their best race before the Olympics is very important.”
NN Running team claim one-two in historic Olympic marathon
Kenyan running immortal Eliud Kipchoge became only the third man in history to win back-to-back Olympic titles with victory at the Tokyo Marathon ahead of his NN Running Team team-mate Abdi Nageeye.
Eliud survived the blisteringly hot conditions on the streets of Sapporo to win 2:08:28 – some one minute and 20 seconds clear of the Dutch athlete, who enjoyed the best run of his career to land an emotional silver medal.
Eliud commented: “I think I fulfilled the legacy by winning the marathon for the second time.”
An elated Abdi commented: “This is the best moment of my career. To think the NN Running Team have finished one-two is crazy.”
Joshua claims ultimate prize
Eight days after winning 10,000m silver, Joshua Cheptegei returned to the track and fulfilled his lifelong goal of Olympic gold with top spot in the 5000m.
In a gruelling final played out in sweltering heat and humidity, Joshua became the first Ugandan to win the event repelling the challenge of Mohammed Ahmed of Canada to win in a swift 12:58.15.
“It’s really a great moment," Joshua said after the race. "I made a small mistake and I was regretting [having] to become a silver medallist (in the 10,000m) I came here to become an Olympic champion and my dream has been fulfilled today in a beautiful evening."
Letesenbet destroys world half marathon record
On the streets of Valencia, Letesenbet Gidey took the women’s world half marathon to another realm by taking an eye-popping 70 seconds off the previous world record by recording a staggering 1:02:52.
Competing in “the city of running”, Letesenbet blasted through the first 10km in 29:45 – the third fastest clocking in history for that distance.
Maintaining a relentless rhythm the brilliant Ethiopian continued to pile on the pace and into history with a performance which raised women’s distance running to a new stratosphere.
Letesenbet’s NN Running Team team-mate and countrywoman Yalemzerf Yehualaw finished second in 1:03:51 to climb to number two on the all-time half marathon lists.
Eliud’s Marathon Major quest moves a step closer
Eliud Kipchoge completed victory in the 2022 Tokyo Marathon to clinch victory at a fourth race in his ambitious quest to claim all six Marathon Majors.
The Kenyan marathon maestro secured victory in a course record and Japanese all-comers record of 2:02:40 to add the Tokyo title to past victories in London, Berlin and Chicago.
“I said I wanted to run strong in Japan and I did, I ran a course record,” he said. “I am really happy I won another major marathon.”