Kipchoge selects 42 pacemakers for Austria race
World record holder and Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge will have a total of 42 pacemakers as he seeks to run the marathon in under two hours at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna, Austria in October.
More than half the pacemakers tasked with helping Kipchoge become the first man to break the two-hour mark either live and train in Kenya or have roots from the country.
“13 more pacemakers have been confirmed to help Kipchoge in his bid to become the first human to run a sub-two hour marathon at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna in October,” organizers said in a statement on Wednesday.
All 13 of the pacers took part in testing for the challenge in Vienna at the start of September and will return for the real thing in three weeks’ time with the aim of helping Kipchoge make history. Among the latest batch of pacemakers is Marius Kipserem, who set a course record of 2:04:11 to win this year’s Rotterdam Marathon.
The 31-year-old, whose time in Rotterdam ranks him as the sixth fastest marathon runner in the world this year, is also the reigning Abu Dhabi Marathon champion. Also confirmed as pacemakers are Eric Kiptanui, the sixth-fastest man ever over the half-marathon distance (58:42), 2008 Olympic 10,000m bronze medalist Micah Kogo, and Chala Regasa (Ethiopia), who is the sixth fastest man in the world over 10km in 2019 (27:23).
“It was a fantastic experience to be part of the testing in Vienna. All of us there were able to learn a great deal about what will be expected of us on the day of the challenge itself, when it is our aim to come together as one team and help Eliud Kipchoge make history,” said Kipserem.”During the weekend of testing, you could really feel the team come together as one and we are all united in the belief that Eliud can do this - he can be the first man ever to run a sub-two hour marathon. Our job as pacemakers is to do all we can to help Eliud make this happen.”
Other pacemakers confirmed for the challenge are Gideon Kipketer (Kenya), Stanley Kebenei (USA), Shadrack Koech (Kazakhstan), Moses Koech (Kenya), Thomas Ayeko (Uganda), Emmanuel Bett (Kenya), Timothy Toroitich (Uganda) and Kaan Kigen Ozbilen (Turkey).In 2017, Kipchoge came within 26 seconds of running the marathon in under two hours, clocking 2:00.25. Now he believes he has the team to guide him through the challenge.