Kenyan world record holder, Eliud Kipchoge, compares completing a marathon in less than two hours to standing on the moon.
“It’s like stepping on the moon, going up the tallest mountain and even going to the middle of the ocean.”
The Olympic marathon gold medalist finished his preceding non-world record attempt at Monza motor racing circuit in Italy in 2017 in 2:00.25. He missed out by only 26 seconds in this attempt. He is now certain that he will succeed in the INEOS 1:59 challenge in Vienna, Austria, in October 2019. His aim is to make history before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“I have no doubt at all,” he said.
Norwegian brothers Filip, Henrik and Jakob Ingebrigtsen disclosed to national broadcaster NRK that they had been approached to run as pacesetters. Henrik (28 years old) is the 2012 European 1,500 meters champion and Filip (26 years old) is the 2017 Worlds 1,500 meters bronze winner. Their younger brother Jakob, 18 years old, is the 2018 European championships 1,500 and 5,000 meters gold winner.
Speaking about their expectations, Henrik hoped that all will go well.
“I have been here for Filip and Jacob for many years, so it will go well.”
In September 2018, Kipchoge set a world record of 2:01.39 in Berlin. He expressed how he felt about the pacemakers saying that a marathon is nowadays a ‘team event’.
“Marathon is no longer an individual event, it’s a team event.”
“The pacemakers are playing a key role in my quest.”
Because of the use of pacemakers and other aids, the body governing athletics, IAAF, would not ratify any sub-two-hour time. This, however, does not bother the 34-year-old. For him, it is no longer about making a world record since he is already a world record holder. His aim is now to make history and leave a legacy.
“I think it’s about history, about leaving a legacy.”
“So I am going to make history and leave a legacy. It’s not about making a world record.”
“I am already a record holder for marathons… I think I have done that. This is for the human family.”
Kipchoge has been training from his home training camp in Kaptagat ahead of the oncoming INEOS challenge in Vienna, Austria. He says his training has been going well, waking up at 5.00 a.m and running 200 to 220 kilometres in a week.
He says he is more mentally prepared for Vienna’s INEOS challenge this time and he is happy about it.
“What has changed is mental preparation,” he said. “I am really better prepared mentally… this time I know what will happen.”
“Certainly I am feeling good.”
For those who think that Kipchoge’s goal is unachievable, he says he and his team cannot wait to prove them wrong.
“Some people believe it is impossible. But my team believes it is possible. We will prove the critics wrong.”
He hopes to be in Vienna about a week to the attempt and plans to jog over the Prater Hauptallee course, which is 4.3 km long.