Eliud Kipchoge turned another page in history as he successfully became the first athlete to run the marathon in under two hours. The Kenyan world record holder clocked in at 1hr 59mins 40sec in Vienna. Kipchoge flew to Vienna on Monday, as he touched down in the Austrian capital to prepare to attempt the 'INEOS 1:59 Challenge'. The Kenyan world record holder has been labelled as 'the greatest marathoner of the modern era'. The 34-year old currently holds an Olympic gold medal, a world title, and the marathon world record. Racing on a 9.6km circuit, Kipchoge aimed to become the first marathoner to break the two-hour barrier during the INEOS 1:59 Challenge.
The Kenyan currently holds the record for the marathon, with a time of 2:01:39 hours. Kipchoge attempted breaking the two-hour barrier earlier in 2017 during Nike's Breaking 2 event at the Monza racetrack in Italy. Kipchoge, however, fell just short, clocking in at 2:00:25 hours. Having skipped the 2019 World Athletics Championships and the Berlin Marathon, Kipchoge was well primed to break the two-hour barrier at the event. His run, however, will not be eligible for the official record books. Kipchoge's attempt to break the record was made using a team of 41 pacemakers divided into 6-person pace-triangles, that was sure to have helped with the air resistance in this historic attempt. The Kenyan also had a lead car for assistance and the team of 41 pacemakers had been tasked with supplying Kipchoge with energy drinks.
This assistance is in breach of the official IAAF competition rules, which was the reason for the record's official omission. That, however, has not meant that the excitement around the Kenyan's historic sub-two-hour attempt was dampened. Kipchoge was also helped by his choice of footwear. Kipchoge sported Nike's specially designed Vaporfly 4%. As the name suggests, the Vaporfly 4% is designed to improve running ease and speed by as much as 4%. After a long and extensive search for the venue to suit this historic occasion, Vienna's Prater Hauptallee was zeroed in on. The Prater Hauptallee was selected since the course fit a pre-determined template of the ideal parameters in temperature, humidity, air pressure, wind speed, elevation, and precipitation.