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History maker! Kenya's Kipchoge busts two-hour marathon barrier

The Olympic champion becomes the first-ever athlete to run a sub two-hour marathon.

Kipchoge made history on Saturday morning.
Kipchoge made history on Saturday morning.
Image: Ronald Zak

KENYA’S ELIUD KIPCHOGE has busted the mythical two-hour marathon barrier with a super-human performance on a specially prepared 26.2 mile course on the streets of Vienna this morning.

With a time of 1hr 59min 40.2sec, the Olympic champion became the first-ever to run a marathon in under two hours as he made history in Austria. 

The 34-year-old already holds the men’s world record for the distance with a time of 2hr 01min 39sec, which he set in the flat Berlin marathon on 16 September 2018.

But accompanied by a posse of 41 pacemakers and a car in front of them setting the pace, Kipchoge bested that mark, making good on a failed attempt two years ago in Monza, Italy.

“I am the first man – I want to inspire many people, that no human is limited,” he said, barely out of breath. 

“We can make this world a beautiful world and a peaceful world. My wife and three children, I am happy for them to come and witness history.”

Maintaining a very regular pace at around 2:50 minutes per kilometre, he passed the finish line gesturing and smiling.

He had been 11 seconds in advance at mid-race as fans lining the course, many waving Kenyan flags, loudly cheered him on. 

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Tweet by @INEOS 1:59 Challenge Source: INEOS 1:59 Challenge/Twitter

Because of the way the run was set up and paced, the International Association of Athletics Federations will not validate the time as a world record.

The running surface had been partly retarred and readied with other features such as a banked corner that could save time and avoid injury.

Pacemakers took turns to support him throughout the 42.195-kilometre (26.219-miles) race. They included 1,500-metre Olympic champion Matthew Centrowitz and former world champion Bernard Lagat.

The course included a 4.3 kilometre-long straight alley, which the Kenyan ran up and down several times amid dry but foggy weather, before making history amid incredible scenes in Vienna. 

© – AFP 2019

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