Eliud Kipchoge on pace at halfway stage of his groundbreaking attempt to beat two-hour marathon barrier in Vienna guided by LASERS and choreographed pace-setters while wearing the most advanced shoe ever
- Eliud Kipchoge is attempting to make marathon history in Vienna on Saturday
- He was greeted with a misty autumnal meeting and a smattering of fans
- By the halfway stage he was on course to run the first ‘sub-two’ in history
Eliud Kipchoge has begun his attempt at making marathon history in Vienna.
The Kenyan world record holder is attempting to become the first man to run 26 miles in under two hours.
The 34-year-old began at 7.15 BST on Saturday morning, making full use of the best conditions of the day for running, alongside a group of the 41 pace-setters he was assigned.
Eliud Kipchoge warms up on the start line ahead of beginning his record marathon attempt
The Kenyan marathon man is attempting to run the first sub-two hour marathon in Vienna
Kipchoge runs behind a group of the 41 pace-setters who will help him to reach his target
He was greeted with a misty autumnal morning and a smattering of fans on Saturday for his bid to run an unofficial sub-two hour marathon.
The highly controlled attempt to break the two-hour barrier consists of 4.4 laps of a 9.6 kilometre course, including a long straight with a loop at each end.
The sport’s governing body, the IAAF, will not recognise the run as an official record because it is not in open competition and it uses in and out pacemakers.
Kipchoge, the reigning Olympic champion who set an official world record of 2:01.39 at the Berlin marathon in September last year, missed out by 26 seconds when he previously attempted to break the two-hour barrier in Monza in May 2017, a race run without spectators.
The 41 pacemakers will run in rotating groups and will form a V shape around Kipchoge – as opposed to a diamond formation in Monza – to try and protect him from the wind.
The pacer car fires a fluorescent green laser beam onto the road to mark where he needs to be
Kipchoge and his pacemaking team follow the timing vehicle as it emits a green laser
They will also follow an electric pace car that emits green lasers to show Kipchoge where he needs to be in order to beat the record.
The laser will actually be set at a time or 20 seconds below the two-hour mark, ensuring that Kipchoge will be ahead of the target and thus not denied his prize by a stumble.
In Monza, the scientific support team was put together by Nike.
This time, British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, through his company Ineos, is funding Kipchoge’s shot at history.
As in Monza, Kipchoge is running in the Vaporfly, a Nike shoe containing a highly controversial carbon-fibre plate in the soles, supposedly capable of improving times by one per cent over any other shoe.
Kipchoge ranks the ‘sub-two’ – one of sport’s great unconquered frontiers – as ‘like man landing on the moon’.
This week he said that it would ‘show to the world that when you focus on your goal, when you work hard and when you believe in yourself, anything is possible.’
Last September he ran the distance of 26 miles and 385 yards in the Berlin Marathon just 99 seconds outside the two-hour mark, shattering Kimetto’s record by a minute and 18 seconds. In April, he eased away from Sir Mo Farah soon after crossing Tower Bridge, finishing in 2hr 2min 38sec.
A smattering of crowds gathered in Vienna to watch the sub-two attempt on Saturday morning
The runners make their way past the Lusthaus on a chilly autumnal morning in Austria
Britain’s richest man and founder of INEOS, Jim Ratcliffe, watches on in Vienna