Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge has become the first man to run a sub-two hour marathon, smashing the barrier by almost 20 seconds.
Kipchoge, the reigning Olympic marathon champion, was attempting the feat as part of INEOS’ 1:59 challenge in Vienna, Austria, though the IAAF will not recognise the attempt as the run was not in an official competition and was run behind a pace car and several sets of interchangeable pace runners. He completed the challenge in an unofficial time of 1:59:40.2.
— Eliud Kipchoge (@EliudKipchoge) October 12, 2019
After accomplishing the feat, Kipchoge, who was named as the second most dominant athlete in sport in ESPN’s Dominant 20 index in 2018, said: “I am feeling good. After Roger Bannister [ran the first-four minute mile] in 1954 it took another 63 years, I tried and I did not get it — 65 years, I am the first man — I want to inspire many people, that no human is limited.
“Absolutely remember the 41 pacemakers are among the best athletes ever in the world.
“I can say thank you to them, I appreciate them for accepting and together we made history on this one.
“We can make this world a beautiful world and a peaceful world. My wife and three children, I am happy for them to come and witness history.
“The positively of sport, I want to make it a clean sport and an interesting sport.”
Kipchoge took on the challenge on a specially prepared 9.6km course in Vienna’s Prater Park. The course, which Kipchoge ran 4.4 times behind a pace car which shone a laser beam projecting the ideal position on the road, was a long straight with two roundabouts at either end.
The 34-year-old previously missed out on running a sub-two hour marathon on his first attempt, coming out 26 seconds short in Monza, Italy in 2017. He set the current official marathon world record at the 2018 Berlin Marathon, completing the race in 2:01:39.