President Uhuru Kenyatta has honoured Marathon Legend Eliud Kipchoge With Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya (E.G.H.) award for his recent contributions to the world.
EGH is the second class title in the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya awards, the highest category of state awards. The first is Chief of the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya (C.G.H.), reserved for Heads of States. In the third class is the Moran of the Order of the Golden Heart of Kenya (M.G.H.) award.
Kipchoge, who recently made history after breaking the two-hour marathon barrier in Austria’s capital Vienna, was among dignitaries who graced this year’s Mashujaa Day fete at the Mama Ngina Waterfront grounds in Mombasa County.
Kipchoge arrived in the coastal city on Saturday in style aboard a Kenya Forest Services plane and checked into Pride Inn paradise beach resort ahead of the celebrations.
Regarded as the greatest marathoner of all time, he became the first person in recorded history to run a 42-kilometre marathon in less than two hours.
The 34-year-old clocked 1:59:40.2 at the INEOS 1:59 challenge that was sponsored by Ineos Group owner and co-founder Jim Ratcliffe.
Kipchoge missed the mark by 26 seconds two years ago in Monza, Italy, during his first attempt to break the two-hour barrier.
Kipchoge becomes the first sportsman to be conferred with the Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart award.
Some of the government officials who have previously received the award include Deputy President William Ruto, Speakers of Parliament as well as various Cabinet Secretaries.
During the Sunday celebrations, the President also recognized Brigid Kosgei, who last week broke the world record for women marathon in Chicago after clocking 2:14:04 to break Paula Radcliffe’s 16-year-old marathon.
This year’s Mashujaa Day celebratons were graced by a number of top national leaders including First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, Chief Justice David Maraga, National Assembly speaker Justin Muturu as well as governors Ali Hassan Joho (Mombasa), Mike Sonko (Nairobi), and Amason Kingi (Kilifi).
Mashujaa Day or “Heroes Day” was originally called “Kenyatta Day” in honour of Kenya’s first president, Jomo Kenyatta, but the name was changed after the 2010 constitution was adopted in an effort to expand the day’s meaning from honouring only those who took part in the independence movement from Britain to honouring all of Kenya’s heroes.