Following his sixth-place finish in Monday's Boston Marathon -- his first marathon loss since 2020 -- Kenyan long-distance runner Eliud Kipchoge blamed the disappointing result on "a combination of different things" when speaking to ESPN on Tuesday.
Kipchoge, widely considered one of the best marathoners of all time, was making his debut in the race, which countryman Evans Chebet won for a second consecutive year.
In a news conference Tuesday morning, the two-time Olympic gold medalist mentioned a left leg problem. Asked about the injury by ESPN, Kipchoge offered that there were various factors that contributed to his result.
"I couldn't push like I'm used to," Kipchoge told ESPN. "I can just say, actually, it was not my day yesterday."
Kipchoge mostly avoided discussing specifics in regards to his race strategy or any physical components, instead expressing a general sense of disappointment.
"We came together for five months [to train for Boston]," he told ESPN. "It's disappointing and discouraging, but this sport has its own challenges. You can train the way you want to train, but when you put your foot in the race, then you can't always do well. And that's what happened yesterday."
Monday was Kipchoge's first taste of the Boston course, considered challenging because of its hilly terrain. After a particularly uneven section following the 18th-mile mark, Kipchoge began to fade as Chebet and others closed in during the final stretch.
Despite his unfamiliarity with the race itself, Kipchoge did not attribute his result to that.
"I liked the whole race. There was nothing I can say that is wrong or is right [with the course]," he said. "I think next time [I run it] will be a big day."
Strong headwinds and colder temperatures might have also contributed to Kipchoge's final time of 2 hours, 9 minutes and 23 seconds, his slowest time since he began competing in marathons. Boston and New York are the only remaining races in Kipchoge's quest to win all six World Marathon Majors.
Kipchoge declined to confirm whether he would be running the New York City Marathon next.
"I'm thinking of my recovery," he told ESPN. "I want to focus fully on how to recover mentally and physically and then go to the table with my team and talk about what's next."
In his most recent race, the 2022 Berlin Marathon, Kipchoge set a world-record pace, finishing first with a time of 2 hours, 1 minute and 9 seconds. Since he began competing in marathons 10 years ago, he has claimed victory 15 times and lost on only three occasions.
Should Kipchoge run and win in New York next November, the possibility would still be open for him to win all six major races before he faces another history-making challenge -- his third consecutive Olympic gold at the Paris Games in 2024.
"To be in the Olympics next year and win would be historic. No human being has won the marathon in the Olympics three times, at least not consecutively. I will try to win in Paris 2024 and then see what's next," Kipchoge said.