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Abdi Nageeye

“When you don’t think in limits you can just go”

What does limit mean to you?

When Eliud is saying no human is limited, he is not saying that everyone can run the marathon in two hours, he means whatever you are doing, don’t put limits on yourself, believe in yourself.

Who sets the limits anyway?

If you really believe in no human is limited, in all the roads that you do, in business or in school or university or whatever, you just don’t put limits on yourself and why would you put a limit on yourself when you don’t even know what your limit is?!

Why do you believe in Eliud?

When I see Eliud training, the self-confidence he has is unbelievable, he will run a race after the pace makers go out and he will just go out in front and he doesn’t look back anymore. He knows, I prepared the most, I can win this. He doesn’t put limits on himself.

Achievements

Dutch record holder on marathon and half marathon

4th fastest European marathon time in history

2016 Olympic marathon runner

Abdi has never allowed his past to limit him, instead he reflects on how he has learnt from his experiences.  It would be indisputable to say that Abdi Nageeye had a tough childhood. He and his brother fled the war in Somalia when Abdi was just six and the pair settled in the Netherlands for four short years until they moved to Syria and then back home to the family farm in Somalia. As he approached his mid-teens, Abdi made the decision to return to the Netherlands, a country that he had grown to love in the short time he was there. Considering his circumstances, it would be forgivable for the self-proclaimed ‘nomad kid’ to feel even an ounce of bitterness over his upbringing, a time that was rife with disruption and lacking in stable support. However, what is perhaps most admirable about the Dutch Olympian is his ability to see the positive in every situation. Abdi describes the events of his early years as a “benefit to overcome” insisting that “the life lessons I have had have helped me to come to the results. Running is just a process for me.” 

Once back in the Netherlands, it soon became clear that Abdi possessed a natural talent for running and his success escalated quickly, running his first international championship as a junior in 2007 and by 2011 he was accumulating national titles in both the 5k and 10k. Determined to fly the flag for the Netherlands, Abdi set his sights on Olympic qualification which he duly achieved when running a PB in the Amsterdam Marathon in 2015. Abdi’s 11th place at the Rio Olympics assured the world that he was an athlete to take seriously and he is now a key part of the famous Kenyan training camp, Kaptagat. Abdi has relished the opportunity to learn from the wealth of experience that exists at the camp and in particular from Eliud Kipchoge who serves as an inspiration to Abdi. 

Abdi’s relationship with Eliud is one of upmost respect and he is confident that Eliud is the only person capable of breaking the 2 hour barrier. He believes that this is due to the shear dedication Eliud has shown over the past 20 years and he insists that “most athletes cannot have that focus for so long.” Abdi understands the gravitas of the attempt and believes that Eliud’s legacy will be instrumental, “for a lot of people, when he says believe in yourself, whatever you do, they will think he is right you know, people will listen to him.”