Eliud Kipchoge Shatters Two-Hour Barrier With 1:59:40 Marathon

He did it.

Eliud Kipchoge’s quest to become the first sub-two hour marathoner— through whatever means necessary— is complete: the 34-year-old Kenyan ran 1:59:40 on Saturday in Vienna, Austria, at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge. That equates to 4:33 per mile over 26.2 miles.

Flanked at all times by five interchangeable pacers in front and two behind him, Kipchoge stayed ahead of two-hour pace throughout the effort. Once it became clear that he was going to smash the barrier within the final kilometer, Kipchoge emerged from the pack to run the last straightaway all alone. He pointed to the crowd and celebrated an achievement that wasn’t thought to be possible until he himself made it so.

5km Splits

Total Time

Splits

14:10

14:10

5km

14:10

28:20

10km

14:14

42:34

15km

14:13

56:47

20km

14:12

1:10:59

25km

14:12

1:25:11

30km

14:12

1:39:23

35km

14:13

1:53:36

40km

6:04

1:59:40

FINISH

The preface to this incredible day occurred over two years ago on May 6, 2017, at Nike’s Breaking 2 event in Monza, Italy. There, Kipchoge fell short of the barrier with his 2:00:25 but he showed then that he was the man destined to crack the mark. A subsequent 2:01:39 world record in Berlin in 2018— over a minute faster than the previous best at the time— proved that Kipchoge was somehow still gaining strength as a marathoner.

In contrast to the Monza effort from 2017, where the barrier slowly slipped from his grasp in the final kilometers, Kipchoge never fell off pace on Saturday. With a laser line guiding the pacers in front of him, the Kenyan steadily clicked off one 2:50 kilometer after another, varying only down to 2:48 and up to 2:52. The only signs of fatigue came when Kipchoge broke out his patented smile, a technique he has long used to relax himself during the difficult moments of a race.

Of course, this mark will not be ratified as a world record by the IAAF. The use of interchangeable pacers and water being handed to him makes this run ineligible for such purposes. But this performance, and Eliud Kipchoge himself, has transcended all the granular details of long distance running.

October 12, 2019, was about one man making history with all available resources at his disposal. Kipchoge has shown the impossible to be possible, and like Roger Bannister and Neil Armstrong before him, he has set the stake in the ground for the rest of humanity to chase in perpetuity.

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Stuck at home looking for sports to watch? FloTrack has you covered with thousands of videos from years of AAU Track & Field competition. Checkout the links below to rewatch AAU Junior Olympic Games replays as well as some of the exclusive video profiles on AAU athletes. Don't forget to download the FloSports apps to watch on the big screen!

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If you're as bummed out by all the COVID-19 cancelations as we are, you're in luck, because FloTrack is going to do something about it! FloTrack, and the entire FloSports network, have a plan to continue bringing high-quality, relevant and timely content to subscribers and fans while showcasing our incredible archive of live sporting event broadcasts.

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