Vienna to host Eliud Kipchoge’s bid to break two-hour marathon barrier

The Kenyan is looking to shave 26 seconds off his previous sub-2hr attempt

Thursday 27 June 2019 16:15
The 34-year-old celebrates after crossing the line at the London Marathon in April
The 34-year-old celebrates after crossing the line at the London Marathon in April

Eliud Kipchoge will attempt to break the two-hour barrier for the marathon in the Ineos 1:59 Challenge in Vienna on 12 October, it has been announced.

The Austrian capital has been chosen to host the event, which will see Kenyan world record holder Kipchoge make his second bid to run the first sub-two-hour marathon.

“After an extensive worldwide assessment process, The Prater – the famous Viennese park – has been chosen by the Ineos 1:59 Challenge as the venue that will give Kipchoge the optimum conditions to write himself into the history books,” Ineos said.

Kipchoge ran the marathon in a time of two hours and 25 seconds on the Monza race track in Italy in his previous attempt to break the two-hour mark. He was assisted by pacemakers who ran set sections of the course on that occasion, meaning it was not recognised as a world record.

The 34-year-old 2016 Olympic gold medal winner set the current world record in Berlin last September when running 2:01:39, beating the previous best by 78 seconds.

He also ran the second-fastest time in history when completing the London marathon in April in a time of 2:02:37.

Ineos chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe said: “Eliud Kipchoge is the greatest ever marathon runner and the only athlete in the world who has any chance of beating the two-hour time.

“Nobody’s been able to achieve this. It’s not unlike trying to put a man on the moon.”

Kipchoge added: “I’ve been informed Vienna has a fast and flat course, nicely protected by trees.

“The course is as well situated in the heart of this beautiful city, which will enable a great number of spectators to be part of this historical event.”


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