Off-the-Pitch

#INEOS 1:59 Challenge: Why Kipchoge was banned from ‘seeing his wife for three wives’

Kenyan footballers are also discouraged from any intimacies three days to a match — or greeting women before crucial matches

One for the ages: Eliud Kipchoge is the greatest marathoner since Noah, since the pyramids.


By Idris ‘Shoes’ Lule

Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge is set to make history this October if he runs a marathon in under two hours, the first for any human in five million years. To achieve that, Kipchoge has to remain celibate before the greatest event of his career.

Sex before major sports events is so discouraged Gor Mahia players, besides being advised to avoid their spouses, are also warned against even shaking hands with any woman.

Now you can imagine what happened when Grace Ogot was the Assistant Minister for Culture and Social Services and had to shake the hands of players when Gor Mahia was playing Tunisia’s Esperance FC in Nairobi in 1987!

For Kipchoge, part of abstinence includes living the Spartan life of a Monk at his Kaptagat training base in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County.

Never mind he the greatest marathoner of this, and any other generation since Noah, since the pyramids and Greek civilizations that gave the world marathons.

Indeed, the team handling the Ineos 1:59 Challenge is leaving nothing to chance. British billionaire Richard Ratcliff, owner of Ineos, the world’s fifth largest chemical company is the money behind the challenge.

Besides Kipchoge’s coaches and manager, Valentijn Trouw, Ratcliffe roped in sports psychologists, sports doctors, physiotherapists, nutritionists and hand-picked pacemakers.

Spartan: Kipchoge has to live like a Monk at his Kaptagat training base in Eldoret.

So serious is the task ahead the Ineos 1:59 Challenge Team even has a meteorologist.  The Challenge will be any dates between October 12 and 14 depending on the weather expert yet, Vienna in Switzerland was selected for its good October weather.

Team Kipchoge also has performance experts. These are the dudes who banned any sexual relations for Kipchoge to ready his loins for an event which will be watched simultaneously by billions around the world.

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By now you know Kipchoge has won 11 of the 12 marathons and only lost when he came second to compatriot Wilson Kipsang in the 2013 Berlin Marathon. 

Research indicates ‘field events’ in the bedroom is the same as running

Why would a man who last lost a race six years ago be denied access to lungula?

Consider too that Kipchoge is the defending Olympics and the world champion and world record holder-with the second fastest marathon in history.
But to break the 1:59 Challenge, Kipchoge had to keep off one perceived enemy of a sportsman before a major event- lungula!
Research, however, indicates that engaging in ‘field events’ in the bedroom is the same as running as it makes one “breathe deeply, move fast and steady and push your body’s capability to the limit” just like in a marathon. It also increases blood circulation, rising oxygen levels.

Brink of greatness: Research indicates ‘field events’ in the bedroom is the same as running.

Stress hormones also drop hence the deep slumber from the after effect.
One editorial in the Clinic Journal of Sports Medicine titled, “Does Sex the Night Before Competition Decrease Performance?” reviewed three studies on prerace sex and found no reason it would cause a decline in performance as lungula is just a “wham, bam, thank you, ma’m” sort of thing.

For women athletes, deep, rough sex can cause the cervix to bleed

In fact, the average married couple according to the Journal, only burns 25 to 50 calories each during sex—the equivalent of walking up two flights of stairs.
The editorial further noted that, it was understandable for women athletes as “deep, rough sex can cause the cervix to bleed. If the lining of your uterus is thin, you may experience some irritation and bleeding.”
So why was Kipchoge banned from sexual athleticism?
Well, Doctors Ian Shrier, a sports medicine specialist and Emmanuel A. Jannini, a professor of endocrinology, told Stefan Lovgren for National Geographic News that while there was  is no actual proof that sex before athletic events have any kind of diminishing effect on an athlete physically.
“There are two possible ways sex before competition could affect performance,” said Shrier. “First, it could make you tired and weak the next day. This has been disproven. The second was is that it could affect your psychological state of mind. This has not been tested.”

Kipchoge not the first one to be denied access to conjugal rights


Among reasons cited by coaches are that dispensing with huffing puffing goes a long way in avoiding sexual injuries like fractured member after trying acrobatic experiments with new positions resulting in a strain, muscle pull or calf cramp. Also discouraged is use of a new brand of condoms to avoid side effects like sheath getting pimples and rushes.
And Kipchoge is not the first one to be denied access to conjugal rights.
 Kenyan footballers, for instance, are discouraged from any intimacies three days to a match — or greeting women before crucial matches.

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Taboo: Gor Mahia Class of 1987 folded their hands instead of shaking hands with a woman.

The aforementioned case of Grace Ogot was such that Gor Mahia players held their hands to their backs when they were being introduced. While Esperance FC had no heart burn, former AFC Leopards and Tusker player Richard Madegwa once explained “in such situations players just nod their heads to acknowledge the greeting, but they can never shake hands with a woman.”

Alcohol-free accommodation to avoid drinking and womanizing


Sports writer Roy Gachuhi also recalled an incident in which famous Kenyan dancer Princess Farida (now a born-again Christian) was gyrating her waist in a pre-match entertainment for Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards fans.

Table dancing: Princess Farida had football fans demanding another table.

“She climbed on the table of the fourth official, and AFC demanded
another table.” Women are the enemy of the team’s “researcher” (witchdoctor) and it was believed any contact with them would adversely affect the results.
 Kenyan soccer teams are camped in alcohol-free accommodation to avoid
drinking and womanizing. Mathare United were often accommodated at Hotel Southern Blue in Ngara, Nairobi, as no alcohol is served.

During the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Argentine players were allowed to have their wives as long they did most of the work to avoid leg injuries.
 “It is important the action should not reverberate in the legs of the players” warned team doctor Donato Vilani, adding that the action should also be avoided when the players were resting. Argentina was still eliminated after a 4-0 walloping by Germany. Argentine fans and press blamed the coach, Diego Maradona and the team doctor for allowing the players near their women!

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The Greatest: Referee Zack Clayton restrains Muhammad Ali after flooring George Foreman in the historic ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ in 1974. Ali avoided sex a month to a major bout.


Boxers avoid women as lungula “weakens them mentally”


But research published in the 2018 Journal of Sex Medicine found that “whether or not the men had had sex in the last 12 hours had no affect at all on their performance. Their peak and average performance in a five-set series of knee extension and knee flexion exercises didn’t differ between the sex and no-sex days.”
Legendary boxer Muhammad Ali avoided his wife for a month going to a major fight. He never slept with her in the run up to defeating George Foreman during the ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ fight in Kinshasa, in the then Zaire in 1974. Ali won by a knockout in the eighth round that October 30. But the reason was not from physical exhaustion, but rather lungula for boxers “weakens them mentally.”

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