Eliud Kipchoge has sent ripples across the world of sport when he became the first athlete to complete a marathon in under 2 hours. However, it will no be considered a record. The Olympic champion and Kenyan world record holder clocked 1 hour, 59 minutes and 40.2 seconds at INEOS 1:59 Challenge on October 12 which was set up for the attempt.
Reports say Kipchoge had earlier described his attempt as a man landing on the moon, punched his chest twice in celebration, and smiled when he completed the challenge. Kipchoge said that it was the best moment of his life and added that he trained for four-and-a-half months for his race challenge. He said that pressure was high on his shoulders and even got a phone call from Kenyan President.
President Kenyatta today made a phone call to @EliudKipchoge and wished him success in tomorrow's #INEOS159 challenge. He assured the elite runner of the entire country's backing as he sets out to make history as the first human being to run a full marathon in under two hours. pic.twitter.com/rf230kkZea— State House Kenya (@StateHouseKenya) October 11, 2019
President of Kenya also reacted to Kipchoge's win.
"Hearty congratulations @EliudKipchoge. You've done it, you've made history and made Kenya proud while at it. Your win today, will inspire tens of future generations to dream big and to aspire for greatness. We celebrate you and wish you God's blessings." - President Kenyatta— State House Kenya (@StateHouseKenya) October 12, 2019
The race began at 8:15 AM, Kipchoge was supported by 36 pacemakers who accompanied him at alternating groups and was one of the reasons why IAAF the governing body will not call it a world record. The groups were also accompanied by a pace car with laser beam projecting ideal position on the road and they received handed over drinks by cyclists and other runners to prevent slowing down.
Kipchoge has revealed that his goal is beyond athletics and said that together we can make this world a beautiful world and a peaceful world. He said that positivity of sport, he wants to make it a clean and interesting sport. Kipchoge was cheered by spectators along the course in Prater Park and there were celebrations in his home country before he had even finished.
“Hearty congratulations, Eliud Kipchoge,” President Uhuru Kenyatta said in a statement. “You’ve done it, you’ve made history and made Kenya proud. Your win today will inspire future generations to dream big and aspire to greatness. We celebrate you and wish you God’s blessings.”
Running at an average pace of 2:50 minutes per kilometre (4:33.5 minutes per mile), Kipchoge was 11 seconds ahead of schedule halfway through his run. He then maintained his tempo until the pacemakers left him for the final 500 meters, where he sped up. Organizers said normal anti-doping regulations were in place and that Kipchoge and all the pacemakers were being tested in and out of the competition by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU).
(With inputs from AP)