Eliud Kipchoge plants tree in memory of Queen Elizabeth II in London

Eliud Kipchoge

World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge (right) signs autographs upon arrival at the iconic Greenwich Park to plant a tree at the "London Marathon Living Hall of Fame" and commemorate the late Queen Elizabeth II on October 1, 2022.


Photo credit: Ayumba Ayodi | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Kipchoge, who broke his own world record on Sunday when winning the Berlin Marathon in two hours, one minute and nine seconds, said London Marathon should be a bench mark for the rest of the world.

World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge officiated a mini marathon for kids at Buckingham Palace before planting the first tree to commemorate the passing on of Queen Elizabeth II at Greenwich Park, England on Saturday.

The two-time Olympic marathon champion also took time to rally behind Team Kenya ahead of Sunday's London Marathon in the British capital.

Kipchoge is in London as the guest of London Marathon and The Queen's Green Canopy, the royal family's foundation that advocates for environmental conservation.

Kipchoge, who was accompanied by London Marathon event's chief director, Hugh Brasher, oversaw 3,000 kids cross the finishing line at the Buckingham Palace where the marathon will end.

The event was geared towards encouraging more youngsters to take up athletics.

"In 2030, London Marathon will be celebrating 50 years and the organisers hope to attract 30,000 children," said Kipchoge.

"This is a good idea to draw many to sports hence all the World Marathon Majors and organisers of race in Kenya ought to replicate this good idea."

Kipchoge, who broke his own world record on Sunday when winning the Berlin Marathon in two hours, one minute and nine seconds, said London Marathon should be a bench mark for the rest of the world.

Kipchoge and Brasher then proceeded to Greenwich Park, the iconic start of the London Marathon, for a tree planting exercise accompanied by The Queen's Green Canopy chief executive officer, Dan Rex and the Greenwich Park manager Graham Dear.

The Kenyan is the first London Marathon champion to plant a tree at the icon park and the first to plant a tree in memory of the late Queen Elizabeth II.

Kipchoge said it's a great honour for him to be the first person in London to plant a tree in honour of her Majesty, the late Queen Elizabeth II.

He added that he was also humbled to be the first of the 117 winners of London Marathon to plant a tree at in "London Marathon Living Hall of Fame" at the iconic park.

"Environment is the next closest thing to my heart after athletics because without good air we can't run or breath well. We must plan trees daily," said Kipchoge, who planted the flowering cherry tree at the Greenwich Park lawn.

Kipchoge cashed in on the opportunity to encourage Amos Kipruto to firmly follow in his footsteps and win his maiden London Marathon title.

Kipchoge noted that defending champion Joyciline Jepkosgei, World marathon silver medallist and two times third place finisher at Boston Marathon, Mary Wacera, are good enough to ensure the title remains at home.

"I will be at the finishing line to cheer and welcome them as victors. I have done it here four times and they too can," said Kipchoge.

Brasher said that it was a great honour hosting the World's greatest marathoner to plant the first tree.

"This is the start of tree planting by all the past winners of London Marathon in the 'Marathon Living Hall of Fame," said Brasher, who hailed Kipchoge's initiative to encourage youngsters to embrace sports as well as conservation.

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