Eliud Kipchoge, an Olympic champion, created history by completing a sub-two-hour marathon in a time of 1hr 59min 40sec. The Kenyan Olympian became the world record holder for completing four laps of a 9.4km circuit in just a couple of hours.
Kipchoge was assisted by a team of 41 in-and-out pacemakers, seven at a time, whose positions were guided by lasers projected on the road from a support car in front. However, due to the assistance provided to Eliud and the fact that the run was not a part of any open event, the record-breaking run won’t be considered as part of an official world record.
He ran every kilometre in around 2’50” with consistent speed. Five pacemakers ran shoulder-to-shoulder in front of Kipchoge, with one man on either side. He has previously attempted the feat at Monza in Italy in 2017, falling short by 26 seconds.
Kipchoge said: “I am feeling good. It has taken 65 years for a human to make history in sport. After Roger Bannister [running a sub-four-minute mile in 1954] it took another 65 years … I’m happy to be the man to run under two hours. No human is limited, and I’m expecting more people to do it after today.”
“The 41 pacemakers are among the best athletes in the whole world … to all of them I want to say thank you, thank you for doing the job. We made history together.”
Speaking in Vienna during Kipchoge’s run, four-times Tour de France champion Chris Froome said: “It’s phenomenal, it’s fantastic, it’s just incredible to watch him – it looks like he’s not even breathing. He’s just gliding over the road. It’s fantastic to be here, and be part of this atmosphere.”