Eliud Kipchoge's attempt to break the two-hour barrier for the marathon will be held on October 12 in Vienna.
It has been announced that the attempt, popularly known as the “INOES 1:59 Challenge” will be held in the Austrian capital because it has a “fast and flat track.”
According to a statement from Kipchoge’s management – Global Sports Communication (GSC) – on Thursday, other reasons for shifting the location of the attempt from the initial one in England included “consistent and optimum performance weather conditions in October, fresh air, wide, traffic-free and illuminated roads, ability to have supporters lining the route.”
The fact that the new course in “The Prater” in the heart of the Austrian capital is within a three-hour time difference of where Kipchoge trains in Kenya, and “a proactive and welcoming local mayor and experienced Vienna Marathon team” were also cited as reasons for the decision.
Kipchoge, who also holds the world marathon record (two hours, one minute and 39 seconds), is preparing for his record attempt at his training camp in Kaptagat.
"I've been informed Vienna has a fast and flat course, nicely protected by trees. The course is as well situated in the heart of this beautiful city which will enable a great number of spectators to be part of this historical event".
In the first attempt at the Nike-engineered “Breaking2” project in Monza, Italy, in May, 2017, Kipchoge, 35, powered by a cocktail of pacemakers on the Monza Formula One race track, ran two hour and 25 seconds, falling agonizingly close to breaking the two-hour barrier.
“After an extensive worldwide assessment process, The Prater - the famous Viennese park - has been chosen by the INEOS 1:59 Challenge as the venue that will give Kipchoge (KEN) the optimum conditions to write himself into the history books,” a statement issued by Jochem Los of Nijmegen (Netherlands) based GSC said.
“The marathon will be held on a multi-lap, 9.6 kilometre course centred on Hauptallee, the iconic long, straight and tree-lined avenue which runs through the heart of The Prater,” he explained.
“Each lap will feature Kipchoge running two 4.3km out-and-back stretches of Hauptallee with the turning points coming at the Lusthaus and Praterstern roundabouts at either end of the avenue.
“The event is due to take place on Saturday 12th October, with a reserve window of eight days scheduled until the 20th October, in case of adverse weather conditions.”
Kipchoge’s fresh attempt is backed by British chemical manufacturer, INEOS, which also has interests in other endurance sports such as cycling and sailing.
“Eliud Kipchoge is the greatest ever marathon runner and the only athlete in the world who has any chance of beating the two-hour time. Nobody's been able to achieve this. It’s not unlike trying to put a man on the moon. If Eliud runs 1:59 it will be the first time that any human has ever been able to break that barrier,” Sir Jim Ratcliffe, chairman of INEOS, says in the GSC statement.
“We have a responsibility to ensure he is given the best chance. After an extensive search of venues fitting Eliud’s criteria, we are delighted to be working with Vienna, and hope to see history made in October.”