Eliud Kipchoge breaks two-hour marathon barrier in historic Ineos 1:59 challenge

Kipchoge has become the first man to break the two-hour marathon barrier

Harry Latham-Coyle@hlathamcoyle
Saturday 12 October 2019 14:15
Eliud Kipchoge becomes first athlete to run marathon under two hours

Eliud Kipchoge has broken the two-hour marathon barrier at the Ineos 1:59 challenge in Vienna.

The Kenyan ran 1:59:40 to complete the 26.2 mile distance in the fastest time in history.

Utilising a rotating group of pacemakers, thus making the time not an official world record, and wearing the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly shoe, Kipchoge became the first athlete to run the distance in under two hours.

“I’m feeling good, after Roger Bannister, it took 63 years, I have tried to inspire many people, you can do it. It’s dedication, it was a hard run,” he said immediately after making history.

“Remember, they’re among the best athletes in the world, Olympic champions, I can say, thank you to them, accepting to do the job.

“It means a lot to Kenya, running under two hours, together we can make a beautiful world.”

He had previously pushed the mark close in a similar attempt at the Monza Formula One racetrack near MIlan in 2017.

Kipchoge ran 2:00:25 on that occasion, but added extra pacemakers and allowed fans to line the streets for this attempt.

The tweaks worked, with Kipchoge holding a consistent pace throughout the run, consistently tracking at about ten seconds below the two-hour barrier, bettering his previous mark to make history.

Eliud Kipchoge became the first athlete to run a marathon in less than two hours

Kipchoge is the holder of the official marathon World Record, a time of 2:01:39 set at the Berlin Marathon last year.

He has won eight World Marathon Majors, and took marathon gold in Rio at the 2016 Olympic Games.

Whereas Kipchoge lost steam in Italy and fell 25 seconds short despite a final kick, here he was on track right from the outset, aided by an all-star team of pacemakers and a pacing car.

And the Kenyan completed his remarkable achievement with a flourish, charging over the finish line while pointing at the clock, safe in the knowledge that the achievement was his.

Kipchoge praised all those who supported him through the race, and also his family, who were in the crowd to watch on as Kipchoge broke the two hour mark.

“They (my wife and kids) have given me so much support, I’m happy they came here to witness history,” Kipchoge said at the finish.

“The positivity of sport, I want it to be a clean and interesting sport, wake up early in the morning and run.

“It can be good for all.”

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments