Kipchoge Smashes Two-Hour Marathon Barrier

Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge is the first man to run a sub two hour marathon with his victory in Vienna, Austria.

He streaked home in 1:59:40 at an average speed touching 13.1 mph over the 26 mile 385 yard course.

But the time is not recognised as a world record because the marathon was not an open competition and Kipchoge used rotating pacemakers throughout the race.

But he was ecstatic after trying for years to break the record.

“This shows no-one is limited,” he said.

“Now I’ve done it, I am expecting more people to do it after me.”

Physical stress

The official world record still stands at 2:01:39  was set by Kipchoge in Berlin in 2018.

“I’m feeling good. After Roger Bannister made history, it took me another 65 years. I’ve tried but I’ve done it,” said the Kenyan.

“This shows the positivity of sport. I want to make it a clean and interesting sport. Together when we run, we can make it a beautiful world.”

To give some idea of the physical stress Kipchoge underwent during his achievement, he had to run at an average pace of 2:50 a kilometre over the entire course.

The record involved running 100 metres in 17.08 seconds 422 times in a row.

To help keep on the pace, Kipchoge had a team of 42 pacemakers.

More athletes set to bust record

“They are among the best athletes in the world – so thank you,” said Kipchoge. “I appreciate them for accepting this job. We did this one together.”

Now the two hour marathon barrier has fallen, Kipchoge expects other athletes to emulate his achievement very soon.

“I’m expecting we’ll see athletes train well and focus and try to beat two hours like I did,” he said.

The marathon is a blue ribbon athletics event named after the Greek hero Phillippides, who ran from Battle of Marathon to Athens with stopping to report the Greek victory in 490BC, although the historical accuracy of the legend is debatable.

The distance is said to be measured from the lawn at Windsor Castle to once round the track and across the finish line at the now demolished White City Stadium in West London.