Kenya’s marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge is set to make another attempt at running under two hours for the marathon later in 2019.
The attempt, termed as the “INEOS 1.59 Challenge”, is likely to be held in September or October at a venue and on a date yet to be confirmed. It is part of a project supported by Jim Ratcliffe, Britain’s richest person and owner of chemical firm INEOS.
Two years ago in Monza the world got to 26 seconds from breaking the last milestone in athletics. This fall I want to break this barrier.
— Eliud Kipchoge (@EliudKipchoge) May 5, 2019
The time, however, will be un-ratified as the Kenyan will use several pacemakers who will run a number of laps, moving in and out so that they can maintain the required two minutes and 50 seconds per km pace.
Kipchoge’s first attempt at breaking the two-hour marathon barrier was spearheaded by Nike. Kipchoge clocked two hours and 25 seconds in the “Breaking2” project on Italy’s Monza motor racing circuit in 2017.
The time was not ratified for record purposes due to certain factors such as using in and out pacemakers and a moving drinks station.
Kipchoge, the reigning Olympic marathon champion, holds the two fastest times in marathon history. He set the record of 2:01.39 set at the Berlin Marathon in 2017 and ran the second-fastest time after he won the 2019 London Marathon in 2:02.37.
Social media users took to Twitter to post messages of encouragement to Kipchoge after he announced the fresh attempt at breaking the barrier.
If anyone can do it….you can. Only you…rooting for you all the way. You're truly an inspiration ✔
— Dibuks (@checkmate_MBULE) May 6, 2019
I've no doubt you'll achieve your goal. So tantalizingly close at Monza!
— Aiyaz Husain (@AiyazHusain) May 5, 2019
Ratcliffe pledged to give Kipchoge every support he needs as he aims to witness sporting history.