Under the two hours of the historic Vienna marathon

Saturday, October 12th, 2019 14:51 |
Kipchoge ineos

At exactly 9:15 local time in Vienna Austria, the gunshot went up signaling the start of the INEOS159 race. Over 20000 live spectators had come to witness Eliud Kipchoge attempting to rewrite history in running 42km under two hours.

The first set of pacemakers in a 'Reverse V' formation sprung with Kipchoge in the middle.

At the start. The first set of pacemakers. Photo/Reuters

The neon-green lacers kept guiding the racers, to regulate the speed. At 9:28, the pacemakers set out in a very smooth transition. A few minutes later, the race had hit the 5km landmark, 37km to go!

In an interview with the press, race sponsor Jim Ratcliffe hinted at how the idea of INEOS challenge came through.

"We were on a motorbike trip in South America having a beer and it popped out of a conversation," he said in the middle of the race.

At 9:40, another transition took place and the second set of pacemakers set in. The team included three Norwergian brothers: the Ingebrigtsens.

After transitioning from the race, Henrik, the youngest of the Ingebrigstens said that he was excited they had played their part well and hoped the rest would continue flawlessly.

The pacemakers in a formation with Kipchoge at the middle. Photo/Reuters

"Our team did a very good job - the laser jumped a little bit, we were not completely prepared for that but the turn went as smooth as it could have done.

"Being able to participate in an event like this, I feel happy to be part of this." Henrik

Pacemakers consistenlty maintains formation. Image/Reuters

At 10:am Kipchoge had already done the first 15km and he was still full of vigour. Since the start, Eliud maintained a 10 seconds ahead. At 10:13 am, he was actually 11 seconds inside the target.

The 41 pacemakers all along help Kipchoge to regulate his speed. A constant speed would be important but, Kipchoge is also known to accelerate in the last two or so minutes

The route map of the race

At 10:50, it was less than 10km to go an the next rotation of pacemakers had just set in. Kipchoge was still within the 9-11 seconds inside the target time.

At exactly 11:00, the last set of pacemakers set in. One of the outgoing pacemakers almost slid out from the wrong side but he got it right.

Patrick Tiernan, one of the pacemakers said that it was beginning to appear as real what wasn't real previously.

Pacemaker Patrick Tiernan: "It's unreal. Five years ago a sub-two-hour marathon wasn't deemed possible and now he's cruising around. He is looking great".

At 11:03, the last laser went and 500metres to the finish, Kipchoge was on his own. He is still nine seconds inside his target.

Near the finish, tens of Kenyans lined up waving the Kenyan flag and cheering their own, what a finish! About 200 meters to the finish, Kipchoge is seen saluting and giving a thumbs up to the crowd.

Kipchoge salutes tens of people cheering him

At 1:59:40.2 Kipchoge beats his own record and becomes the first known human being to complete 42 km under two hours, incredible!.

Kipchoge at the finish of the INEOS159 challenge, he has made it. Photo/reuters

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