Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge breaks two-hour marathon barrier

Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge crosses the finish line at the Prater Park in Vienna, Austria, on Saturday October 12, 2019 to complete the INEOS 1:59 Challenge and become the first athlete to run a marathon in under two hours. COURTESY: TWITTER/INEOS

Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge made history on Saturday when he became the first athlete to run a marathon in under two hours after he completed the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in 1:59:40 at Prater Park in Vienna, Austria.

Kipchoge ran the distance (26.2 miles) with the assistance of a rotating team of 41 pacemakers who ran in a ‘V’ formation designed to maintain the pace and protect Kipchoge from wind.

However, due to the manner in which the run was set up (not an open competition) and paced, the International Association of Athletics Federations will not validate the time as a world record.

“I am feeling good. It has taken 65 years for a human being to make history in sport. After Roger Bannister made history in 1954 it took another 63 years, I tried and I did not get (it). Now it is 65 years, I have tried. I am the happiest man to run under two hours in order to inspire many people,” Kipchoge said immediately after the run.

Kipchoge, 34, paid tribute to everyone who supported him through the race, including his family and the pacemakers.

Two years ago, Kipchoge attempted to break the two-hour barrier at the Monza National Autodrome racing circuit in Italy in an event dubbed “Breaking2”. However, he narrowly missed the mark finishing the run after at 2 hours and 25 seconds.

Kipchoge, a world and Olympic champion, is also the holder of the men’s world record for the distance with a time of 2:01:39, which he set at the Berlin marathon on September 16, 2018.