Celebrated Kenyan long-distance runner Eliud Kipchoge has been flown to the UK in one of the world’s most luxurious jets ahead of London Marathon.
The Boeing 737-500 executive travels plane operated by Oryx Jet was chartered by London Marathon organizers to fly Kenyan and Ethiopian elite athletes to the UK capital ahead of the race on October 4th.
The jet left Eldoret at 8:15 pm on Sunday with several Kenyan athletes including Kipchoge, Brigid Kosgei, and their pacemakers on board.
The aircraft made a stop in Addis Ababa where it picked another group of top Ethiopian athletes led by Kenenisa Bekele, who will go head-to-head with Kipchoge for the 42-kilometer race on Sunday.
From Ethiopian, the plane made another stop in Athens, Greece to refuel before proceeding to London’s Stanstead Airport. The 56-seater flight boasts world-class standards and is among the most luxurious jets in the world.
Speaking to Daily Nation, Captain Julian Mogg said: “I’m happy because I will be able to see them during the flight. This (London Marathon) is a much-awaited race worldwide and if I will be free on that day, I will be happy to watch them compete. I’m also happy I will be able to meet both Kipchoge and Bekele.”
The Kenyan team had camped at Boma Inn hotel in Eldoret for a week ahead of the scheduled travel and were seen off by Athletics Kenya President Jack Tuwei, Sports CAS Hassan Noor Hassan, and Central Rift Athletics Kenya chairman Abraham Mutai.
Kipchoge and Brigid won the 2019 edition of the London Marathon completing 2 hours 02 minutes 37 seconds and 2:18:20 respectively. The two are looking to defend their titles.