Eliud Kipchoge

Getty Images

Eliud Kipchoge likens next shot at two-hour marathon to moon landing

Leave a comment

Reigning Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge, who plans another shot at breaking the two-hour barrier in the event, said Wednesday that the feat would hold a high place in the history of human achievement.

“This is about history and making a mark in sport. It’s like the first man to go to the moon, I will be the first man to run under two hours, this is crucial,” Kipchoge told reporters from his training base in Kaptagat, Kenya. “I’m really excited I’m really looking forward to this historic day.”

Kipchoge holds the official world record of 2:01:39, set in 2018, and he posted a time of 2:00:25 in 2017 on a race track in Monza, Italy. Timed runs under controlled conditions outside of a formal race typically aren’t eligible to be considered as official world records.

The next attempt will take place in Vienna sometime during a window from Oct. 12 to Oct. 20, depending on when the weather is best.

Kipchoge has won 11 of the 12 marathons he has entered, dating back to 2013. His 2016 Olympic gold finished a hat trick of medals that included bronze in the 5,000 meters in 2004 and silver in the same event in 2008.

Breaking the two-hour mark would require a pace of 4:35 per mile.

The official and unofficial record-holder struck a confident tone on Wednesday.

““I was like a boxer who is going in the ring (in 2017) and doesn’t know what will happen,” he said. “But this time I am prepared, and I know what will happen.”

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Eliud Kipchoge’s sub-2-hour marathon attempt moved out of London

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Eliud Kipchoge‘s second attempt to become the first runner to break two hours in the marathon this fall will not take place in London.

The attempt, organized by British chemicals group INEOS, will instead be in Vienna on Oct. 12 with a reserve window of eight days through Oct. 20 in case of adverse weather.

The first announcement on May 5 called for the special race to take place in London.

Experts since chose The Prater, a historic park in central Vienna, for its ideal weather conditions and long stretch of flat road called the Hauptallee. It is nearly a six-mile circuit to create a multi-lap course that is 90 percent straight.

The venue also provides more capacity for large crowds, something missing from Kipchoge’s previous sub-two attempt at a Formula One course in Monza, Italy, in 2017. Kipchoge clocked 2:00:25 there in non-record-eligible conditions.

Like Monza, the Vienna bid is being set up to have pacers come in and out of the event, making it non-record eligible.

Kipchoge, 34, may still be peaking as a marathoner. In his last two marathons, he ran the two fastest record-eligible times in history: 2:01:39 in Berlin on Sept. 16 and 2:02:37 in London on April 28.

Next summer, he can become the third runner to repeat as Olympic marathon champion.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: U.S. marathon rankings ahead of Olympic trials

Eliud Kipchoge announces special sub-2-hour marathon bid (again)

AP
Leave a comment

OXFORD, England (AP) — Eliud Kipchoge has funding from Britain’s richest man for his bid to break the two-hour marathon barrier again later this year.

The fastest marathon runner of all time announced plans for the record attempt during a visit to the track in Oxford where Roger Bannister ran the first sub-four-minute mile 65 years ago on Monday.

“I want to unlock that thought that there are limitations in the human being,” Kipchoge told The Associated Press at the Iffley Road track. “There are no barriers when you believe in yourself and try and trust in what you are doing.”

The 34-year-old Olympic champion has gained the trust of Jim Ratcliffe, who founded chemicals group INEOS and is estimated by London-based Sunday Times Rich List to be worth 21 billion pounds ($28 billion).

Ratcliffe spent the London Marathon earlier this month in the pace car watching Kipchoge win the event for a record fourth time.

London is where Ratcliffe hopes the Kenyan runner will in September or October be lowering his world record marathon time of 2 hours, 1 minute, 39 seconds — set in Berlin in September — to under two hours.

Kipchoge made an attempt at the Monza motor racing circuit in Italy in May 2017, falling 26 seconds short across 26.2 miles (42.2 kilometers) around an oval track in a time not sanctioned by the IAAF, because of variables such as pacers entering mid-race and drinks being given to runners via mopeds.

This time a parklands circuit could be favored over a road circuit because Ratcliffe anticipates needing dates in London on three consecutive weekends being set aside to ensure the conditions are optimal for Kipchoge.

“If we have it in London it would need to be an iconic location that fulfils the performance criteria that’s flat and has a good surface,” Ratcliffe said after posing with Kipchoge in front of a clock that read “1:59.00.”

According to Ratciffle’s vision, the ideal situation for the attempt would involve a circuit of 2 to 3 kilometers, and a crowd.

“It’s one of those great challenges in the sporting world to try and break two hours,” for the marathon, Ratcliffe told the AP. “If he does succeed it’ll be very inspirational for people. He’s the finest marathon runner the world has ever produced and I think he’s still getting better.”

This is the latest foray into sports for Ratcliffe, who has taken over the Team Sky cycling outfit and renamed it after INEOS.

“We worked for 25-30 years in business and it’s quite successful,” Ratcliffe said. “We can afford to do this and why shouldn’t we really? We’re putting a modest amount in our terms into sport. I think they are good endeavors. We enjoy it and we can.”

There is also a risk. Ratcliffe said he has conducted due diligence into the athletes he is now funding in cycling and athletics — two sports that have grappled with doping issues.

“We probe quite deeply into that,” Ratcliffe said. “I have no interest in cheating.”

Neither does Kipchoge.

“This is the time to prove to the whole world that you can run in a positive way,” Kipchoge said, “and in a clean way and actually make history.”

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: U.S. marathon rankings ahead of Olympic trials