Olympic Stories

Duncan Kibet

Duncan Kibet

Duncan Kibet is a long distance runner born in Kenya on 25th April 1978. Kibet attended school in Kenya, however he was forced to leave school in 1997 due to financial issues. He was quite late to enter into his running career, and was spurred on by his older brother.

Brother Luke Metto was a relatively successful runner himself around the millennium. Luke moved to France just after the turn of the century, and Kibet followed him there, taking part in local running races. Shadrack, his younger sibling is an all-American runner at Oregan University.

At age 16, Kibet was in a car accident which very nearly stopped him from ever walking again. This held him back a little in his earlier running years, as he was concerned and fearful that training and running may cause him to break his leg again as it was already weakened from the accident.
                  
Kibet is well known for his beard and wearing jewellery when he runs. Jamaican and Rasta bare two nicknames commonly used for Kibet by other runners. Kibet is married, and as mentioned his brothers are also runners. He is managed by the Rosa Associati led by Federico Rosa.

In 2003, Kibet took part in the Lille Half Marathon and won it. Even so, the beginning of Kibet’s marathon career was not much of a success. In 2002 he ran at the Monaco Marathon and finished an unimpressive 8th place. In 2004 at the Caen Marathon he managed to secure 2nd place, which of course was a huge improvement.

Later, Kibet’s younger sibling was granted a scholarship in the States, so he arranged for Kibet to participate in some races there. Kibet took part in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in San José in 2006, and ran an impressive time of 1:00:22 hours. At that time, it was 2nd quickest time for a half marathon in the States, second only to Haile Gebrselassie. Then in 2007 Kibet ran the Beach to Beacon 10 kilometre run, and won. This was a very significant achievement as the course was over a field and was uneven ground, yet he still managed an amazing time of 27:51 minutes.

The 2008 Dubai Marathon was a breathtaking race to watch indeed, with Kibet up against Gebrselassie. Kibet caused Gebrsalessie to push his talent to the limits, and Gebrselassie set the 2nd fastest marathon time ever at that time.

Kibet’s first full marathon race was in 2008 at the Vienna Marathon, where he came 2nd with a time of 2:08:33. Later that same year he ran at the Milan Marathon and won. He also broke the record for the course running it in an amazing time of 2:07:53. Kibet’s greatest achievement came in 2009 when he ran at the Rotterdam Marathon in the Netherlands.

During this race he became the second fastest marathon time ever with a time of 2:04:27 hours. James Kwambai, another popular Kenyan runner came very close behind Kibet. Haile Gebrselassie is the only runner to have a better record when he set world records at races in 2007 and 2008.

After a series of fast performances by other runners in 2011 and 2012, Kibet is now the 5th fastest marathoner of all time on a certified world record eligible course and the 7th fastest marathoner of all time under any conditions.

Career Highlights

  • 2009 Rotterdam Marathon – 1st
  • 2009 Lagos Half Marathon – 1st
  • 2009 Ribarroja del Turia Half Marathon – 1st
  • 2008 Milano City Marathon – 1st


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