HISTORIC

Eliud Kipchoge makes history as first human to run a marathon in under 2 hours

In Summary

• Kipchoge ran 4.4 laps of a 9.6 kilometre course.

Eliud Kipchoge, the marathon world record holder, runs during his attempt to run a marathon in under two hours in Vienna, Austria, October 12, 2019.
Eliud Kipchoge, the marathon world record holder, runs during his attempt to run a marathon in under two hours in Vienna, Austria, October 12, 2019.
Image: REUTERS

World record holder Eliud Kipchoge has made history by being the first human to run a marathon in under two hours.

Kipchoge crossed the finish line in 1:59:40.

Asked how he felt about running under two hours, he said, "I'm the happiest man. I'm feeling good. It's taken 65 years for a human being to make history. I have tried... It means no man is limited."

"The first kilometres were hard. It needs perserverance. I appreciate the 41 pacemakers for volunteering to do the job. I want to tell Kenyans that anyone can step out of their cocoon."

Kipchoge said he wants to make sports an interesting game where people wake up and run.

When he started the race, Kipchoge was greeted with a misty autumnal morning and a smattering of fans for his bid to run an unofficial sub-two hour marathon.

The marathon world record holder's highly controlled attempt to break the two-hour barrier started at 8:15am local time (6.15 GMT) and organisers and there was a crowd of up to 8,000 in Vienna's Prater Park.

Kipchoge ran 4.4 laps of a 9.6 kilometre course, consisting of a long straight with a loop at each end.

The sport's governing body, the IAAF, will not recognise the run as an official record because it is not in open competition and it uses in and out pacemakers.

Kipchoge, 34, the reigning Olympic champion who set an official world record of 2:01.39 at the Berlin marathon in September last year, missed out by 26 seconds when he previously attempted to break the two-hour barrier in Monza in May 2017, a race run without spectators.

The 34-year-old was supported by 41 pacemakers who ran in rotating groups and formed a V shape around Kipchoge - as opposed to a diamond formation in Monza - to try and protect him from the wind.

They followed an electric pace car that was programmed to complete the course in 1:59.50 to ensure that Kipchoge ran a steady pace.