Eliud Kipchoge Plans To Go Sub-2:00 Later This Year

Two years after he narrowly missed the mark during the Nike Breaking2 event, the world record holder is looking toward a do-over.

Hailey Middlebrook |

  • On Monday, Eliud Kipchoge announced his plans to attempt a sub-2:00 marathon later this year in a special event called the Ineos 1:59 Challenge.
  • Kipchoge is the current world record holder in the marathon (2:01:39) and recently won the 2019 London Marathon for the fourth time.
  • This will be Kipchoge’s second attempt to break the barrier since running 2:00:25 during the 2017 Nike Breaking2 event.

On Monday, May 6, the 65th anniversary of Sir Roger Bannister’s historic sub-4:00 mile on a cinder track in Oxford, England, marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya shared a special announcement on his social media: He’s aiming to break two hours in the marathon this fall.

The attempt, dubbed the Ineos 1:59 Challenge, is sponsored by manufacturing company Ineos, and will take place on an unspecified flat loop circuit venue sometime later this year, according to a press release from Ineos.

If you’re scratching your head thinking, Wait, didn’t he already try this?, you’re correct. In 2017, the year after Kipchoge won the Olympic gold medal in the marathon at Rio, he ran 2:00:25 for a record-ineligible marathon specially created by Nike’s Breaking2 Project in Monza, Italy.

“I learned a lot from my previous attempt, and I truly believe that I can go 26 seconds faster than I did in Monza two years ago,” Kipchoge said in the press release. “I am very excited about the months of good preparation to come and to show the world that when you focus on your goal, when you work hard and when you believe in yourself, anything is possible.”

Last September, Kipchoge officially broke the marathon world record when he won the 2018 Berlin Marathon in a blistering time of 2:01:39, shaving a minute and 18 seconds off the previous world record. The Kenyan runner then rallied to deliver another stunning performance in the London Marathon last month, breaking the tape for the fourth time in 2:02:37, the second-fastest marathon time ever recorded.

Kipchoge’s dominance in the marathon distance is pretty much uncontested. In the 11 marathons he’s competed in, the 34-year-old has only lost one, to Wilson Kipsang in the 2013 Berlin Marathon. While the elite field as a whole has improved over the years, Kipchoge’s progression has been leaps and bounds ahead of his competition – leading many in the running community to think that, if a sub-2:00 marathon is possible, Kipchoge will be the one to run it.

Others, however, don’t think the barrier will fall so soon. In a study published earlier this year, researchers predicted that if marathon times continue progressing as they have in the last 60 years, we won’t see a sub-2:00 marathon until 2032.

Whatever the odds, Kipchoge seems ready for the challenge – and he has the stats to back him up. Plus, this isn’t his first time racing that 120-minute timer.

“I believe in good training and good preparation,” he told Runner’s World at a press conference after his Breaking2 attempt in 2017. “If I have that, the 25 seconds will come.”

This article originally appeared on runnersworld.com.

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