Eliud Kipchoge Attempts First Sub-2 Hour Marathon — Can he do It?

Eliud Kipchoge will attempt to run a sub-2 hour marathon in sometime between the 12th and 20th of October. The event — called Ineos 1:59 Challenge — will take place in Vienna, Austria at The Prater park. This is the second time Kipchoge has attempted a sub-2 hour marathon. The first was in 2017 during Nike’s Breaking2 Project. During the first attempt, Kichoge ran a 2:00:25 record-ineligible marathon (the attempt being ineligible because of the use of alternating pacers).

This time, Vienna, Austria was chosen because of the optimal conditions of the weather in October as well as the track. Each lap has Kipchoge running 4.3km and back, which he does about 4.5 times. The end of the road has a roundabout making the turn easy. The eight-day window is to ensure optimal weather.

The track is straight (90% straight), flat, and fast. Supporters can line the route and cheer on Kipchoge which they could not do in Italy. The wide roads are traffic-free and the park is only one hour behind Kipchoge’s base in Kenya. However, the Vienna bid will be record ineligible though because pacers will be coming in and out of the event.

In 2018, Kipchoge broke the 26.2-mile world record while running the Berlin Marathon, which he ran in 2:01:39. This time was 18 seconds faster than the previous world record. Last month in London, Kipchoge ran the marathon in 2:02:37, which was the second-fastest marathon time ever recorded.

Can he do it? Kipchoge is optimistic, however, researchers are not so much. A study published shows a sub-2 hour marathon won’t be run until May of 2032. The study looked at both male and female world record progressions then made the conclusion based on that data.

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