They say invest in what you love, and you can expect many in return. The saying holds for one of the richest men in Britain, Jim Ratcliffe. Ratcliffe saw a lot of opportunity from his first love, sports, by investing in some sports projects. He backs several projects, including people who inspire him and its returns, are worth billions. Not only does Radcliffe make billions from his investments, but he also earns from INEOS his chemical company.
The Man Behind the Billions
Ratcliffe was better known as the founder and chairman of INEOS, a petrochemical and acquisition company. The company has over 19,000 employees in over 24 countries and makes average annual sales of $60 billion. But besides being a successful businessman, Ratcliffe is also known to be a cyclist and a runner. Ratcliffe ran his fastest at age 57 and says, “I’m not sure Nike had been invented when I started running.”
“It was in the days when you would go running around London or New York, and people would stare at you. When I did my first marathon, they hadn’t heard of sports drinks, so after 20 miles you fell over because you hadn’t had any sugars.
“I was in the pace car in front if Eliud for the London Marathon and he was not looking like I look when I cross the finish line. He was looking very serene and comfortable. He’s still getting better.
“The road was poor, it was a hilly course, it was windy, he didn’t have pacemakers that were effective, and he did 2:02.37.”
Many are intrigued behind Ratcliffe’s investment, and he explains during the launching of Kipchoge’s bid: “You don’t want to get too deep about it. We make six or seven billion dollars a year in profit so what’s wrong with investing a bit of that in sport? On some good challenges, good people, try to inspire people? It’s good fun.”
INEOS has seen a lot of changes over the years, and their journey might just be starting. To date, INEOS is also backing Ben Ainslie, one of the most successful Olympic sailor of all time. Ainslie is expected to embark on the 2021 America’s Cup sailing challenge, and with Radcliffe supporting him his success can almost be expected.
One of Ratcliffe’s creation includes the “GO Run for Fun” charity, which he founded. He also supports the Daily Mile program, to help children become more active.
The 1.59 Challenge
Ratcliffe, now 66-years old, is one of the majors pushers behind “The 1.59 Challenge.” Two years ago, Kenyan world record holder Eliud Kipchoge ran a sub-two-hour marathon, unfortunately missing out by 25 seconds. “For any of us that do a little bit of running, just the concept of running 42km at two minutes 50 seconds per km is unthinkable really,” Ratcliffe says. “There are so few people on the planet who could run even one kilometer at anything like three minutes.
“This is the most extraordinary challenge that faces a human being and would be an almost super-human achievement.” Today, Ratcliffe and Kipchoge are working together at having redemption, and there’s no doubt that Ratcliffe has a special admiration for Kipchoge.
Together with INEOS, this new attempt will hopefully show a lot of success. Many are already looking forward to the main event, which will most likely happen late this year, in London. “We just have to hope that the powers that be in London are sympathetic to the quest,” he said. They have to think about it, do they want it. Because there are other places to go.”