• Running in Vienna will essentially lock Eliud Kipchoge out of the first three World Marathon Majors which include Berlin, New York and Chicago marathons
• Isuzu offered Kipchoge, their brand ambassador, a brand-new single-cab DMax pickup valued at Sh4.1m only if he breaks the two-hour barrier in Vienna.
World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge shake hands with Isuzu East Africa MD Rita Kavashe in front of the single cab offered to him if he hits the 1:59 attempt yesterday.
World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge can be very philosophical at times and this time he had a polite way of avoiding other questions and ensuring his press briefing focused on his 1:59 attempt set for October 12 in Prater Hauptallee, Vienna, Austria.
“When I was a young, I was taught not to chase two rabbits at a time. I am chasing one only,” said Kipchoge when asked to speak on his road map after the October 12 mission of running under two hours. Of course defending his Berlin Marathon title is out of question as it comes close to his 1:59 attempt.
Running in Vienna means he is essentially out of the first three World Marathon Majors including Berlin, New York and Chicago marathons which come before or after his Vienna exploits. Kipchoge’s first possible WMM feature could be the Tokyo Marathon slated for March 1, 2020. The city will also host the 2020 Summer Olympic Games. However, despite all the speculation, Kipchoge also the 2016 Rio Olympics Marathon champion, was emphatic that the only ‘Rabbit’ he is chasing is the INEOS 1:59 Challenge this year.
The road racing legend has been preparing for Vienna for the last three months— covering a distance of between 200km and 220km per week.
It was a close shave for him in Berlin last year in his attempt to break the two-hour barrier and Kipchoge intimates that he learnt that small things can make you lose. “I have a rich experience that I take to Vienna. Athletics is not all about the training. As a human being, it’s not just the body but the conscience. I have not changed my training conditions but my mental strength and I strongly believe I can do it,” added Kipchoge who is currently reading 11 lessons from Nelson Mandela by Ndaba Mandela.
Kipchoge will wear Nike ZoomX Vaporfly shoes during the 1:59 attempt, the same ones he used when he broke the current record of 2:01.39 in Berlin last year.
“I am not going to Vienna to win, but to beat the time. What I want is to inspire the whole generation; to sell the idea that no human is limited. It is not about the world record but about making history and inspiring the human family,” continued the father of three who was described as disciplined and resilient by the Isuzu East Africa managing director, Rita Kavashe.
To foster their partnership with their brand ambassador, Isuzu offered Kipchoge a brand-new single-cab D-Max pickup valued at Sh4.1m only if he breaks the two-hour barrier in Vienna. Kavashe intimated that Kipchoge’s Vienna run will be screened at a yet to be appointed venue.
Kipchoge will have some kind of mini ‘United Nations’ pacing him up during his sub-two hours attempt in Vienna. INEOS, a British chemical company has paraded 16 pacemakers among them three Americans of Kenya origin. They include double world champion (1500m and 5,000) Bernard Lagat, Paul Chelimo and Shadrack Kipchirchir.
Others are Swiss Julien Wanders, Tesfahun Akalnew (Ethiopia), Kenyans Philemon Kacheran, Noah Kipkemboi, Vincent Kiprotich Augustine Choge, Victor Chumo and Mande Busendich (Uganda). Also in the pacing team will be the three Norway Ingebrigtsen brothers—Henrik, Filip and Jakob.