KAMPALA. Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge stretched mankind’s limits after he successfully became the first-ever to run a marathon under two hours at the Ineos 1:59 Challenge in Vienna, Austria on Saturday.
With special shoes from Nike, an optimised course to avoid wind and a classic group of 41 pacemakers, Kipchoge ran a historic time of one hour, 59 minutes and 40 seconds.
“I am the happiest man today that the message that no human is limited is now in everybody’s mind,” said Kipchoge, arguably the best marathoner ever. Seven of his pacemakers were Ugandans; Jacob Kiplimo, Timothy Toroitich, Ronald Musagala, Joel Ayeko, Mande Bushendich, Thomas Ayeko and Abdallah Mande who rotated and ran in a V-shape to provide Kipchoge wind resistance.
Attempting a sub-2-hour for the second time, Kipchoge had everything in place in Vienna.
With a lead car beaming green lasers to show the required pace of 2:50 per km, Kipchoge ran an average 17.02 seconds every 100m, 200m at 34.03, 400m at 1:08.06, 800m at 2:16.13 and 1500m at 4:15.3. His pace over 100m was repeated 422 times.
His half-way time of 59:35 minutes is relatively the same duration a car would require from Serena Hotel in Kampala to Entebbe Airport via the Expressway.
Kipchoge’s feat is equated to Briton Sir Roger Bannister breaking the 4-minute barrier over the mile in 1954, American Neil Armstrong walking on the moon in 1969 or even legendary Ugandan John Akii-Bua breaking the 48-second barrier over the 400m hurdles in 1972.
“That if you believe in something and you put it into your mind, and in your heart, and in your mouth, then it can be realised. So I am happy,” Kipchoge said.
Whereas his time is not ratified by IAAF as a world record since he had no competitors, it is believed that Kipchoge can repeat the feat in case he is pitted against competitors like Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele on a course like Berlin’s.
KIPCHOGE’S TIME SPLITS
5km - 14:10
10km - 28:20
15km - 42:34
20km - 56:47
25km - 1:10:59
30km - 1:25:11
35km - 1:39:23
42km - 1:59:40