Wow, this was just incredible to watch! If you are just getting up in the US and were not one of the almost million people following the live coverage of the sub-2 hour marathon attempt, you are going to want to watch it! That’s right – there has been a marathon distance run that ended with a “1” in the front of the time!
Watch a Sub-2 Hour Marathon Be Run!
Link: INEOS 1:59 Challenge
Eliud Kipchoge added one more number to his already impressive, world-class resume of running – he became the first human to run 26.2 miles in less than 2 hours. This is the kind of the like Sir Roger Bannister breaking the 4 minute mile and Usain Bolt breaking the 10 seconds in the 100 meters – just unbelievable!
Fun Note: Eliud has a wife and three children and today was the first time they ever saw him complete a marathon! Not only that, but all over Kenya, people were watching as THEIR runner made history!
Start with the big one – 26.2 miles/41.195km has just been completed in 1 hour, 59 minutes, and 40 seconds. That is amazing! If you want to know how fast that is, go to your local school 1/4 mile track and run around it in 68 seconds. That would equal the 4:34 mile that Eliud kept as an average for just under 2 hours!
Check out his perfect pacing:
The Pacers and Course
He had a total of 41 pacers that worked together in teams to pace him to this amazing finish – a finish which easily cleared his goal with a time of 1 hour, 59 minutes, and 40 seconds. The pacers were world class runners in their own distances, some had just finished at the World Championships in Doha but came to help Eliud in this effort.
The pacing teams came in every 5K to stay fresh and help click off the splits with Eliud. In front of them, there was a truck with the time and pace on the back and a green light that was on the road to show them where they needed to be for the correct pace.
Another thing that was different over a regular marathon was that the tangents (or the exact markings for the 26.2 mile distance) were in the middle of the roads and curves. They were marked with yellow lines that Eliud had to remain in at all times but they were made in a way that did not require him to make sharp turns. To help him, his pace team captain in each group also kept within those lines so he did not have to keep staring down.
Why The INEOS 1:59 Challenge Did Not Count for a World Record
This amazing effort, while being the best marathon time ever, will not be a world marathon record (which, by the way, Eliud actually holds already). There are a few reasons for that – the pacing teams that kept entering the course, his water and gels being delivered to him instead of the extra seconds to pick them up from tables and the fact that he was the only entrant.
But all of that is ok! This attempt was more to show what is possible with the human body and to see what could be done to push marathon times lower in the future.
Featured image Photo: Thomas Lovelock for The INEOS 1:59 Challenge