Why Eliud Kipchoge and other Kenyan marathoners could be called upon to help transform Man United

Manchester United minority owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe with Eliud Kipchoge in 2019.

FOOTBALL Why Eliud Kipchoge and other Kenyan marathoners could be called upon to help transform Man United

Mark Kinyanjui 05:10 - 16.02.2024

Eliud Kipchoge is among Kenyan marathoners who could soon address Manchester United players on mental toughness and endurance in a bid to revive the club's fortunes.

Kenyan marathon runners and All Blacks stars may soon address Manchester United players as part of Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS's efforts to revive the club.

This is according to Mail Sport's special report, which claims that the petrochemical billionaire, who is expected to confirm his 25 per cent stake in the club soon, is set to look for ways to transform the club's fortunes on and off the pitch.

INEOS, through its association with the New Zealand rugby team and its backed NN group, which supports marathon runners, plans to tap into the experience of these athletes. 

Eliud Kipchoge, who is part of the NN group, managed to become the first ever marathoner to run under two hours in 2019 thanks to a race that was sponsored by the company (INEOS 1:59 Challenge), and he could be among the marathoners that will be part of the programme.

These mrathoners have previously provided talks to All Blacks players on mental toughness and endurance, and there is speculation that they may visit United's Carrington base in the future.

Sir Dave Brailsford, right-hand-man to Ratcliffe, is instrumental in incorporating the 'marginal gains' philosophy into various sports ventures.

 The possibility of hosting All Blacks and Kenyan long-distance runners at Carrington aligns with Brailsford's approach. 

Brailsford has applied his philosophy to running, with Eliud Kipchoge benefiting from aerodynamic advice originating from INEOS’s sailing and motor racing ventures when breaking the marathon world record.

Brailsford's influence extends to INEOS-owned Ligue 1 side Nice, where Kenyan running coaches provide insights on pace explosions, and All Blacks medical experts contribute their knowledge on rugby-related muscle problems affecting footballers.

Sir Alex Ferguson's past interactions with Brailsford, particularly at Team Sky and British Cycling, are highlighted, showcasing the shared commitment to achieving common goals. 

The report concludes with a direct quote from Ferguson, emphasising the straightforward approach to teamwork: "Dave,’ he said. It’s simple - just get rid of the c****."