Eliud Kipchoge Wins Two-Hour Marathon


Eliud Kipchoge on Saturday became the first person to run a marathon in less than two hours, blowing through the barrier by nearly 20 seconds in a special event in Vienna.

The Kenyan Olympic champion, in black shorts and white jersey, completed its course in 1 h 59 min 40 s, almost two minutes less than his world record (2: 01: 39) set in conditions approved in Berlin last year.

Kipchoge started at 8:15 am, with a cool temperature, on a flat circuit of 9.9 km, to walk a little more 4 times in the former Prater hunting reserve.

The 34-year-old runner had previously tried to break the two-hour mark in 2017 but failed by 26 seconds.

“It was the best moment of my life. No human is limited. You can do it. Together [with Neil Armstrong] we went to the moon.” Kipchoge said.

“From the first kilometers, I was very comfortable. I trained for that for four and a half months, and I had written in my heart and mind that I would run the marathon in less than two hours.” he added.

However, there was some criticism of the experiment. Kipchoge was supported by 36 pacemakers who accompanied him in alternating groups, one of the reasons the IAAF will not ratify the time as a world record.

Only the cameras of the organizer were allowed to film the race, which took place under the eyes of many spectators including Chris Froome, the four-time winner of the Tour de France and leader of the Ineos cycling team.

To put his champion in the best conditions, the sponsor has left nothing to chance: three and a half months of preparation of the route, an asphalt course to present no imperfection, a track repeatedly tested thanks to simulation software, a day and a schedule chosen according to favorable weather conditions (temperature, humidity, air quality) and even. The autumnal fall of the leaves of the trees closely controlled.

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