The 34-year-old ran the 26.2 miles in 1 hour, 59 minutes and 40 seconds at Vienna‘s Prater-Hauptallee – an achievement considered one of the ultimate milestones in athletic performance. Kipchoge‘s first crack of going sub-two-hour in Monza, Italy, was part of Nike‘s Breaking2 project. This time he was being backed by petrochemical company Ineos in an attempt called the 1:59 Challenge. Despite the achievement, the milestone won’t count as a world record. In fact, Ineos hasn’t even submitted a request to the IAAF for the attempt to be officially ratified.
Kipchoge, an eight-time major marathon winner and three-time Olympic medalist, pounded his chest twice as he crossed the finish line in Vienna’s leafy Prater Park, where the majority of the run had unfolded on a long straightaway of recently paved road, with roundabouts on either end. He had led a monastic existence there, eating, sleeping and exercising for the sole purpose of running fast. To his normal preparations, he added workouts focused on core strength in order to lessen the strain on his hamstrings.
Through all his years of competition, all the victories and medals and records in his career, this was the first time his family had watched him run in person.