For many that would be enough to satisfy any career, but not this 34-year-old, delivering his final swansong at the World Championships in the Olympic Stadium - performances to fully justify his title of Sports Personality of the Year.
He completed the "double-double" past year at the Rio Olympics, defending the 5,000m and 10,000m titles he had famously won at London 2012. I just thought, 'Mate, this thing is hard to win!'.
"I didn't imagine I was ever going to win this but anything can happen". My kid has been not well.
On a night of surprises, Northern Ireland's World Superbikes champion Jonathan Rea finished second and para-athlete Jonnie Peacock was third.
She was a three time world champion before retiring in 2016.
"I am completely overwhelmed", said Ennis-Hill.
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"When I first stepped on to the track it was by chance - my mum joked about it being cheap childcare". It was a public vote so I need to thank everyone that picked up the phone, there will be some phone bill in our little country tonight.
"I just couldn't be happier and I am so proud".
The three men behind the success of British sprinters, including the stunning 4x100m relay squad of Olympians CJ Ujah, Adam Gemili, Danny Talbot and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake who secured gold.
Manchester City's Phil Foden was named Young Sports Personality of the Year after helping England U17 to World Cup glory.
Despite still being considered the national summer sport, cricket has been noticeably under-represented at the SPOTY awards in recent years - arguably due to the sport's invisibility on free-to-air TV.