Six Ugandans will assist Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge as he seeks to become the first man to run a marathon under two hours at the INEOS Challenge in Vienna, Austria today.
A total 41 pace setters have been lined-up help Kipchoge attempt something he tried at the Nike Breaking2 event in Monza, Italy two years ago.
Ugandans Thomas Ayeko, Jacob Kiplimo, Timothy Toroitich, Mande Bushendich, Abdallah Mande and Ronald Musagala will assist Kipchoge with pace, rotating in and out and protection from the wind.
Musagala has run the third fastest over the 1500m this year and reached the semi-finals at the IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar. Mande assisted Joshua Cheptegei to the men’s 10000m title in Doha six days ago.
Kiplimo would have featured in Doha but opted out at the eleventh hour to focus on helping Kipchoge around the 4.3km stretch on the Prater Hauptallee.
“I am happy to be one of the pacemakers at INEOS,” Kiplimo posted via his Instagram handle.
Kipchoge is rated as the best marathoner ever and currently holds the 42km world record at 2:01.39. “In Monza, it was 63 years after Roger Bannister broke the four-minute barrier over the mile,” said the 34-year-old.
“Those days, no human being was believing that a mile could be run under four minutes. That is a good illusion that no man is limited.”
“On Saturday, it is about making history, leaving a good legacy to the world. It cannot be a legacy in terms of sport. It goes beyond, to all professions, from journalism, to law, to education to everywhere,” added Kipchoge. In case he makes it, it won’t be ratified as a world record as he has competitors which contravenes IAAF rules.