Eliud Kipchoge Is The World's First Person To Run A Marathon In Under Two Hours!

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On October 12, 2019, Eliud Kipchoge became the world's first person to run a marathon in less than two hours (Credit: Eliud Kipchoge/Facebook)

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge has been dominating the world marathon stage since winning the Chicago Marathon in 2014. In the years following, the elite runner has won every marathon he has participated in, including the gold medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics. In 2018, Kipchoge made history when he crossed the finish line of the Berlin Marathon in 2:01:39, crushing the existing men's world record by a minute and 18 seconds. On October 12, 2019, the 34-year-old further cemented his legacy by running the 26.2 miles in Vienna, Austria in less than two hours, faster than any other person in history. His time of 1:59:40 required him to maintain an average pace of about 4:35 per mile!

Upon crossing the finish line, Kipchoge, who spent four months training for the unprecedented run against the clock, said, “That was the best moment of my life. The pressure was very big on my shoulders. I got a phone call from the President of Kenya.”

Kipchoge's seven pacers helped maintain his speed and shielded him from wind (Credit: Eliud Kipchoge/Facebook)

Kipchoge's sub-two-hour marathon attempt was planned with military precision. The Prater Park course in Vienna, Austria, was carefully selected, taking into account factors like temperature, humidity, wind speed, and elevation to ensure the perfect racing parameters. His speed was maintained by 41 medium-and long-distance runners. Sprinting in a v-shaped formation in alternating teams of seven, they also protected Kipchoge from the wind. An electric car, moving at the pace required to beat the two-hour time limit, followed closely behind the group. Kipchoge was equipped with the latest iteration of Nike's ZoomX Vaporfly, which featured carbon fiber plating and extra cushioning. To save time, Kipchoge was fed pre-prepared drinks and energy and caffeine gels on the course at 3.1-mile intervals.

The historic run was Kipchoge's second attempt at breaking the two-hour marathon barrier. The Kenyan runner first tried to accomplish the feat on May 6, 2017, at Nike's Breaking2 event, which took place on a Formula One racetrack in Monza, Italy. However, while Kipchoge's 2:00:25 time was the fastest ever attained by a human, it was not under the desired two hours.

A joyous Kipchoge greets the thousand of fans who had gathered to watch the historic run (Credit: Eliud Kipchoge/Facebook)

Kipchoge's record time, which tested the upper limits of human physical prowess, will not be recognized as an official world record by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) for several reasons. The marathon was not approved by the IAAF and also not open to other athletes. Additionally, pacers are forbidden, and refreshments can only be taken at prefixed stations, not provided to the competitor while he/she is running.

The lack of acknowledgement does not bother Kipchoge. He says, "I am the happiest man in the world to be the first human to run under two hours, and I can tell people that no human is limited. I expect more people all over the world to run under two hours after today.”

Kenyan runner Brigid Kosgei set a new world record at the Chicago Marathon (Credit: Chicago Marathon/Twitter)

Kipchoge was not the only Kenyan runner to make headlines that weekend. On Sunday, October 13, 2019, Brigid Kosgei made history of her own at the Chicago Marathon. Her time of 2:14:04 outpaced British runner Paula Radcliffe 's 16-year-old record by an impressive 81 seconds, earning Kosgei the title of the world's fastest female marathoner!

Resources: NPR.org, standardmedia.co.ke, theguardian.com

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172 Comments
  • dimples1015
    dimples1015Thursday, April 2, 2020 at 6:06 pm
    i love running but i could never do that.
    • augy
      augyWednesday, March 25, 2020 at 4:05 pm
      some one in my school has a dad that ran in that he was in black
      • tyboydog891
        tyboydog891Saturday, March 21, 2020 at 1:19 pm
        WOW!!!!!! That's crazy fast man!!😮
        • kyloren08
          kyloren08Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at 9:27 am
          Go Eliud!
          • grimthereaperxx
            grimthereaperxxSunday, March 15, 2020 at 5:40 am
            That's AMAZING! I agree with superman1313. I would never be able to do that. EVER. That guy's fast bro.
            • superman1313
              superman1313Thursday, March 5, 2020 at 5:56 am
              I could not do that in a million years! I am training for a 5k though.🏃🏻‍♂️🏃🏻‍♂️🏃🏻‍♂️
              • superman1313
                superman1313Thursday, March 5, 2020 at 5:52 am
                That guy is smart, the way he uses those 7 guys to shield of the wind. Every second counts!
                • boardbreaker23
                  boardbreaker23Thursday, February 6, 2020 at 3:43 am
                  Lets GO ! I LOVE TO RUNNNNN!!!!
                  • lpsbrooklyn10
                    lpsbrooklyn10Friday, March 13, 2020 at 8:01 pm
                    Same it's amazing
                  • milesbball
                    milesbballThursday, January 16, 2020 at 5:09 pm
                    amazing
                    • sianpuppy
                      sianpuppyMonday, January 13, 2020 at 3:19 pm
                      WOW