Eliud Kipchoge’s Attempt to Break Barriers
The two-hour marathon is one of the final barriers left in athletics.
Kenya and the entire world anxiously wait to witness 34-year-old Eliud Kipchoge become the first man to run a 42km race in under two hours on Saturday, 12th October 2019.
We have all heard of athletics and marathon races, and as it is the norm, athletes usually compete among themselves. This time, however, something great, exciting, and historic is going down in Vienna as one of the greatest legends in athletics says he is going to run against time. He has no plans of competing with fellow mortals for this race, and it is not about winning for him. (After all, he is the reigning world record holder!) The race is about beating his record and inspiring the world by beating time, something that has never been done before.
Kenya’s Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge ran the fastest marathon ever recorded in May 2017 at the storied Monza Formula One racetrack outside Milan. During the race in 2017, he only fell 26 seconds short. However, he still holds the world record. The zenith of Nike’s Breaking2 project saw Eliud come within touching distance of the most significant barrier in the running. Speaking in an interview, Eliud told RW. ‘I’m a believer that it’s like climbing a tree – you step onto one branch and then the next.” He added that he is thrilled to step onto the two-hour branch and marked the race as a start to running under two hours as he plans more for the future.
Being a man of his word, the 34-year-old marathon champion will try to make history this month yet again in Vienna, in the INEOS 1:59 Challenge. He left the country on Monday night on a chartered jet to Vienna ahead of his attempt to become the first man to run the 42-kilometre distance in under two hours this weekend.
Why Kipchoge will not get into record books incase he wins
Unfortunately, In the event this man who is just as fast as the wind beats his record, he will not make it into the record books. But why?
For a race to be eligible to become a world record, there is a set of criteria that must be met. According to Yannis Nikolaou of the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) the race must:
- Be endorsed by the IAAF or by the Athletics Federation of the host country.
- Have anti-doping controls.
- Take place on a course that is measured and certified by an official.
- Pacemakers cannot rotate in and out of a race.
- Have at least three competitors.
- An athlete cannot be paced by a vehicle with a motor.
- Refreshments must be taken from official stations and not brought to an athlete
However, this will not be the case for Mr Kipchoge’s race. The race breaches all these rules as:
- His pacemakers will swap in and out
- He is the only person attempting the INEOS 1.59 Challenge
- Refreshments in the form of eight pre-prepared drinks, energy and caffeine gels will be handed to him every 5km
With masses waiting for the D-day, several Kenyan leaders have wished Kipchoge all the best while expressing confidence in him. His fans and citizens of the country are all over social media sending words of encouragement to this 34-year-old legend. Furthermore, Safaricom PLC recently made Mr Kipchoge the new face of Mpesa until the end of the race, to celebrate his expected record.
From Signs Tv, we say, ‘Go and make us proud, Champ!’
By: Linzer Kibebe