Eliud Kipchoge sets out to break two-hour marathon mark

FILE PHOTO: Athletics - Eliud Kipchoge reveals plans to break two hour marathon record - Iffley Road Sports Centre, Oxford, Britain May 6, 2019 - Picture taken April 30, 2019 Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge poses for a photograph-REUTERS


World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge flew out of Kenya on 7th October night for Vienna, Austria and for a potential run into history

World Marathon record holder Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge boarding the plane to Vienna,Austria-Picture by Nation Media Group

Kipchoge is aiming to become the first person to run a marathon in under two hours.

The Ineos 1:59 Challenge organizers have now narrowed the window for Kipchoge to run to between October 12 and 14, with the target-date being this Saturday.

However, the actual event date will be confirmed on Wednesday, three days out and start time the day before the INEOS 1:59 Challenge.

INEOS 1:59 meteorology and performance experts are expected to provide weather data to Kipchoge’s coaching team and collectively make the decision as to what date and time for the race, to give Kipchoge the best possible chance of success.

One of the reasons Vienna was picked for the venue was its favorable weather conditions in October.

The Kenyan athlete shattered the world marathon record last year in Berlin, running the distance in two hours, one minute and 39 seconds in Germany.

FILE PHOTO: Athletics – Berlin Marathon- September 16, 2018 Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge celebrates winning the Berlin Marathon alongside a clock showing his World Record breaking time- REUTERS

But on Saturday on the streets of Vienna, Austria, Kipchoge will be chasing another iconic target, with his attempt, dubbed “INEOS 1:59 Challenge”, drawing global interest as the day nears.

The challenge is bankrolled by British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who runs chemical firm INEOS.

The conditions are, for now, within an acceptable range for the first weekend of the window. To ensure Kipchoge’s preparations for the challenge are flawless, Sir Jim dispatched his private jet, a Gulfstream 280, valued at $24.5 million (Sh2.4 billion) to pick him.

Kipchoge has been training in Kaptagat, Elgeyo-Marakwet County and in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County. He traveled in the company of seven teammates, including his coach Patrick Sang, physiotherapist Peter Nduhiu and pacemakers Augustine Choge and Gideon Kipketer.

In total, 41 pacemakers have been enlisted to support Kipchoge in his quest, among them Erick Kiptanui.

“We will be there to support Kipchoge and after traveling to Vienna to feel the course, I must say it’s a good one and he achieves his dream,” said Kiptanui at Eldoret airport Monday night.

“He has focused to achieve the 1:59 mark and we are ready to help on Saturday. He is a great man and we know history will be made,” said Victor Chumo, another pacemaker who trains with Kipchoge in Kaptagat.