Kipchoge sets sights on sub-2 hour run in Vienna

LONDON • Eliud Kipchoge will attempt to break the two-hour marathon barrier, the last great landmark in modern athletics, in Vienna in October.

The Kenyan will attempt the feat in the Prater park in the Austrian capital on Oct 12, with an eight-day window until Oct 20 in case of bad weather, his "Ineos 1:59 Challenge" team said on Thursday.

"This is a golden chance for me to make history and show the world no human is limited," he said.

The effort will be run in 9.6km laps of the park's dead-straight Hauptallee tree-lined avenue. Kipchoge will change direction on a roundabout at each end.

In his previous attempt at running the first-ever sub-two hour marathon on the Monza Formula One racetrack in Italy in 2017, Kipchoge completed the 42.2-kilometre distance in 2:00:25.

The marathoner is preparing for his attempt at his Kaptagat training camp in Kenya, 2,400 metres above sea level.

"Vienna has a fast and flat course, nicely protected by trees," the 34-year-old said. "The course is situated in the heart of this beautiful city which will enable a great number of spectators to be part of this historical event."

Since Monza, Kipchoge set the official world record of 2:01:39 at last year's Berlin Marathon.

His last outing was in London in April when he won in 2:02:37 - the second-fastest time ever recorded in an official race.

The Olympic champion is skipping the biennial World Athletics Championships in Doha from Sept 27-Oct 6 to concentrate on his attempt at the record.

Vienna was chosen after meeting particular criteria - including wide, traffic-free and illuminated roads with space for spectators; optimum performance weather conditions in October, and a one-hour time difference from Kipchoge's training camp.

As at Monza, pacemakers will be rotated in and out to ensure the feat is recognised by the International Association of Athletics Federations.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 29, 2019, with the headline 'Kipchoge sets sights on sub-2 hour run in Vienna'. Print Edition | Subscribe