Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge has successfully completed the first ever marathon in under two hours. The marathon itself took place in the Austrian capital of Vienna, and it was poetic since he fell short by 25 seconds, two years ago.
The 34-year-old completed the 26.2 mile course in 1 hour, 59 minutes and 40 seconds. I fact, this achievement could be considered one of the ultimate milestones in athletic performance.
“I am the happiest man,” declared a jubilant Kipchoge after the unofficial two-hour marathon. They Kenyan athlete was on target to break the record after he completed 21 kilometers in 59.35 minutes.
His maiden attempt took place in Monza, Italy, and it was part of Nike’s Breaking2 project. This time, he was supported by petrochemical company Ineos in the ‘1:59 Challenge’.
While the feat itself was incredible, the milestone itself does not count as a world record. This is because, Ineos did not submit a request to the IAAF for the attempt to be officially recognised.
It was worth noting that during the race, Eliud Kipchoge was tailing a car, which is normally disallowed under IAAF sanctions. In addition to that, he was assisted by at least of 30 pacemakers.
Regardless, there was plenty of praise doled out when the record-breaking run was completed. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta tweeted his congratulations to Kipchoge: “You’ve done it, you’ve made history and made Kenya proud while at it. Your win today, will inspire tens of future generations to dream big and to aspire for greatness.”
Prior to the run, Eliud Kipchoge was aware of the critics and their opinion on the manufactured conditions surrounding the attempt.
“The law of nature cannot allow all human beings to think together,” he said. “In breaking the two-hour barrier, I want to open minds to think that no human is limited. All our minds, all our thoughts are parallel. But I respect everybody’s thoughts.”
“Berlin is running and breaking a world record. Vienna is running and making history — like the first man to go to the moon.”