World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge will be attempting to break the two-hour marathon barrier during the “INEOS 1:59 Challenge” this weekend in Vienna, Austria.
It won’t be the first time Kipchoge is trying to break the two-hour barrier, having come up short by 26 seconds when he clocked 2:00:25 during the Nike Breaking2 project on the Monza Formula 1 racetrack near Milan, Italy on May 6, 2017.
Here are five interesting things to know about the “INEOS 1:59 Challenge”
ISUZU SINGLE CABIN
An Isuzu Single Cabin worth Sh 4.1 million awaits the Olympic Marathon champion should he achieve the feat. Isuzu East Africa managing director Rita Kavasha made the disclosure when she hosted Kipchoge, their Isuzu brand ambassador, for breakfast last month.
Isuzu East Africa lived up to their promise last year when they presented Kipchoge, who is the Olympic Marathon champion, with an Isuzu Double Cabin worth Sh 5.9million after he set a new world marathon record when winning Berlin in 2 hours, 01 minutes and 39 seconds on September 16, last year.
NOT AN OFFICIAL RECORD
The 'sub-two' requires human intervention; a support system which means that the time he sets at a 9.6-kilometre loop of Vienna's Prater public park will not be recognised by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) as an official record.
41 ELITE PACEMAKERS
Eliud Kipchoge will not be alone. He will be assisted in his attempt by a team of 41 pacemakers, made up of some of the finest long distance runners across the world. They will not only set the pace for the Kenyan, but also flank him in specially designed aerodynamic formations to help shield him from the wind. The pacers will rotate twice on every lap.
Among the pacers include Ethiopian teenager Selemon Barega, who won a silver medal in the 5000m. Barega, 19, is also the fastest man in the world over 3000m this year and the second fastest over 5000m and 10000m.
Also confirmed to help Kipchoge in the historic INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna are Ronald Musagala (Uganda), the winner of two Diamond League 1500m races in 2019 and Matthew Centrowitz (USA), the reigning Olympic 1500m champion.
The other pacemakers confirmed are Hillary Bor (USA), Justus Kimutai (Kenya), Jacob Kiplimo (Uganda), Alex Korio (Kenya), Jonathan Korir (Kenya), Ronald Kwemoi (Kenya), Lopez Lomong (USA), Stewart McSweyn (AUS), Kota Murayama (JPN), Nicholas Rotich (KEN) and Patrick Tiernan (AUS).
“Maurten”, an innovative sports drink, is what Eliud Kipchoge will also use in Vienna.
'Valentijn Trouw, who is the athletes’ manager at NN Running Club and Global Sports Communication (GSC), added that in the INEOS 1:59 Challenge, Kipchoge will be handed his drinks from a bike to save the few seconds he would have otherwise lost slowing down to pick his bottle at drink stations.
“In Vienna, drinks will be handed out by a bike," Trouw told Nation Sport in an earlier interview.