Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge on his way to dipping under two hours for the marathon in Vienna. (Reuters: Leonhard Foeger)
Kenyan great Eliud Kipchoge has created history by becoming the first athlete to run a marathon in under two hours at a stage-managed event in Vienna.
- Eliud Kipchoge ran a time of one hour, 59 minutes and 40 seconds to dip under the revered two-hour barrier
- Kipchoge’s time will not be recognised as an official world record by the governing body of athletics, the IAAF
- The Kenyan had previously made an attempt at running under two hours in Monza in 2017
Kipchoge stopped the clock in an unofficial time of one hour, 59 minutes and 40 seconds, however it will not be officially recognised as a world record, as the race was not an open competition and it used in and out pacemakers.
The 34-year-old Kipchoge, the reigning Olympic champion, holds the official world record of 2:01.39, which he ran at the Berlin Marathon in September last year.
Kipchoge’s bid to run a sub-two hour marathon, which was funded by a petrochemicals company, was contested across 4.4 laps of a 9.6-kilometre course, consisting of a long straight with a loop at each end.
He completed the first 21 kilometres in 59 minutes and 35 seconds, 11 seconds under the two-hour pace.
Kipchoge runs among the pacemakers during the first half of the marathon in Vienna. (Reuters: Leonhard Foeger)
Kipchoge was supported by 41 pacemakers — including Australians Stewart McSweyn, Jack Rayner, Brett Robinson and Patrick Tiernan — who ran in rotating groups.
The pacemakers formed a V shape around Kipchoge to try and protect him from the wind.
They also followed an electric pace car, which was programmed to complete the course in 1:59.50 to ensure that Kipchoge ran a steady pace.
Kipchoge, a four-time winner of the London Marathon, missed out by 26 seconds when he previously attempted to break the two-hour barrier in Monza in May 2017, a race run without spectators.
More to come.