Vienna: Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge on Saturday became the first athlete to run a marathon in under two hours. Kipchoge, 34, covered the 42.2 km distance in one hour 59 minutes 40 seconds.
However, this is not an official marathon world record because it was not in open competition and Kipchoge used a team of rotating pacemakers, according to a report in BBC Sport.
The Kenyan was assisted by a team of 42 pacemakers, including Olympic 1500m champion Matthew Centrowitz, Olympic 5,000m silver medallist Paul Chelimo and the Ingebrigtsen brothers Jakob, Filip and Henrik. His coaches delivered him water and energy gels by bike over the course of the run in the city’s Prater park, instead of Kipchoge having to pick up refreshments from a table as in normal competition marathons.
Knowing he was about to make history on the home straight, the pacemakers dropped back to let Kipchoge sprint over the line alone, roared on by a large crowd in the Austrian capital.
After completing the race, the four-time London Marathon winner embraced his wife, grabbed a Kenyan flag and was mobbed by his fans. The Olympic champion had missed out by 25 seconds in a previous attempt in 2017.
Kipchoge holds the official marathon world record of 2:01:39 which he set in Berlin in 2018.