Steve Oke Chapchap MarketOctober 12, 2019No Comments
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Eliud Kipchoge makes history by running sub two-hour marathon
• Kenyan runs unofficial time of 1hr 59min 40sec in Vienna • World record holder was assisted by 41 pacemakers and lasers
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Eliud Kipchoge made history in Vienna by running the first-ever sub two-hour marathon in a time of 1hr 59min 40sec. Cheered on by thousands of fans, the Kenyan world record holder and Olympic champion completed four laps of a 9.4km circuit around the Prater, a park in the centre of the Austrian capital.
Kipchoge achieved the feat with a team of 41 in-and-out pacemakers, seven at a time, whose positions were guided by lasers projected on the road from a support car in front. These assisted conditions, and the fact the run was not part of an open event, mean his achievement will not count as an official world record.
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He remained on target throughout the effort, running each kilometre consistently in around 2’50”. Five pacemakers ran shoulder-to-shoulder in front of Kipchoge, with one man on either side.
Branded the ‘Ineos 1:59 Challenge’, Battersea Park in London was initially discussed as a potential venue. The 34-year-old previously attempted the feat at Monza in Italy in 2017, falling short by 26 seconds.
Kipchoge said: “I am feeling good. It has taken 65 years for a human to make history in sport. After Roger Bannister [running a sub four-minute mile in 1954] it took another 65 years … I’m happy to be the man to run under two hours. No human is limited, and I’m expecting more people to do it after today.
“The 41 pacemakers are among the best athletes in the whole world … to all of them I want to say thank you, thank you for doing the job. We made history together.”
Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Ineos chairman and CEO, said: “That last kilometre, where he accelerated and he came through on his own, it was super-human really. I can’t believe he ran the first half-marathon in under an hour, and then he had to do that again.”
Speaking in Vienna during Kipchoge’s run, four-times Tour de France champion Chris Froome said: “It’s phenomenal, it’s fantastic, it’s just incredible to watch him – it looks like he’s not even breathing. He’s just gliding over the road. It’s fantastic to be here, and be part of this atmosphere.”
The Kenyan-born cyclist added: “To have someone doing something as monumental as this, it’s such a boost for all the athletes over there in Kenya. It’s showing that the impossible is do-able.”
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