Skip to main content

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge, the marathon world record holder, crosses the finish line during his attempt to run a marathon in under two hours in Vienna, Austria, October 12, 2019.

LISI NIESNER/Reuters

Eliud Kipchoge has become the first athlete to run a marathon in less than two hours, although it will not count as a world record.

The Olympic champion and world record holder from Kenya clocked 1 hour, 59 minutes and 40 seconds Saturday at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge, an event set up for the attempt.

Kipchoge was supported by 36 pacemakers who accompanied him in alternating groups, one of the reasons the IAAF will not ratify the time as a world record.

Story continues below advertisement

Running at a consistent average pace of 2:50 minutes per kilometre (4:33.5 minutes per mile), Kipchoge was 11 seconds ahead of schedule halfway through his run.

The pacemakers left him for the final 500 metres, and Kipchoge punched his chest twice in celebration when he finished.

The Prater park in the Austrian capital offered long straights, protected from the wind by high trees, for most of the 9.6-kilometre course, which Kipchoge completed more than 4 times.

It was his second attempt at breaking the two-hour barrier, after missing out by 26 seconds at a similar event on the Formula One track in Monza, Italy, in May 2017.

Kipchoge, who took Olympic gold in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and has won 10 of his 11 marathons, holds the official world record of 2:01:39 since shattering the previous best mark by 78 seconds in Berlin last year.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter