Eliud Kipchoge set the world record for the marathon in Berlin just last year, but his first gold medal at a global event came all the way back in 2003, when he won the 5,000m at the IAAF World Championships in Paris.
To commemorate that event Nike has launched the EK Umoja Collection, which contains a selection of shorts and apparel with colors and graphics that reference that 5,000m final. This includes special editions of two of the best carbon plate running shoes—the Nike Vaporfly 3 and Nike Alphafly 2.
That race 20 years ago is worth celebrating because the teenage Kipchoge was relatively unknown at the time, and he was competing against two of the greatest distance runners of all time in Kenenisa Bekele and Hicham El Guerrouj. Kipchoge outkicked El Guerrouj to win in a time of 12min 52.79sec, a championship record that stands to this day.
You can watch the race on YouTube and it’s worth doing to see three titans of the sport battling it out.
That time is printed on the sockliners of the shoes in the EK Umoja collection.
Umoja means unity in Swahili, one of Kenya’s official languages, and the collection also features his mantra, No Human Is Limited, which is written on each shoe and piece of apparel. The clothes available are the Nike Windrunner jacket, Rise 365 T-shirt, Stride 7in short and a Dri-FIT T-shirt that features the quote, “Let us imagine that we are in a garden. Let us focus on the flowers and not the weeds.”
The EK Umoja collection is available now on the Nike website and app.
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Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.