Should Kenenisa Bekele Hang Up His Racing Flats?

By Mario Fraioli |
Bekele’s got some thinking to do. Photo: Marie-Lan Nguyen | Wikimedia Commons

Kenenisa Bekele, hailed by many as the greatest distance runner of all-time (with good reason), dropped out of the Amsterdam Marathon on Sunday with about 1K to go. He had fallen off the lead pack after 30K but was still on 2:07:14 pace with 2K remaining, according to letsrun.com, when a short while later he just walked off the course. His manager, Jos Hermens, said Bekele had been battling an injury in the weeks leading up to the race and it had worsened after 30K. And while that very well may have been the case, and there’s a clear line between running through pain and running through injury that any seasoned runner knows not to cross, the fact that the Ethiopian legend has dropped out of three of his last five marathons doesn’t leave me feeling optimistic about his competitive future. (more…)

Eliud Kipchoge: Not a Trace of Doubt in My Mind

By Mario Fraioli |

I’m going to come right out and say it: Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya is the greatest male distance runner—not just marathoner—ever to set foot on this planet. His marathon record—11 starts, 10 wins, an Olympic gold medal, and the world-record—combined with his achievements at shorter distances—two Olympic track medals, world titles in other disciplines, and some of the fastest times in history from 3,000m through the marathon—put him in rare company. Sure, you could make an argument for Haile Gebrselassie or Kenenisa Bekele, or maybe Emil Zatopek or Paavo Nurmi, but none of those men have had the range, consistency, or dominance in their primary event quite like Kipchoge has over the past 16 years. And sure, maybe its recency bias or the influence of our current social media generation coming through here, but none of those other men have captured the interest and imagination of runners and non-runners alike quite like “The Boss Man.” (more…)

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mario Fraioli
Mario Fraioli is a writer and running coach based in the San Francisco Bay Area.