Aaron Hostetler Staff Writer
On Oct. 12, 2019, in Vienna, Austria, the famous Kenyan runner Eluid Kipchoge made an incredible mark on human history by becoming the first man to run a full marathon in under two hours. This is a feat that runners have been trying to accomplish for years, and now, someone has finally achieved it.
Kipchoge was born in the Nandi, district of Kenya, in 1984. As a kid, he used to run two miles every day to get to school. At 16, he met his coach, Patrick Sang, who was an Olympic Steeplechase medalist himself. After years of rigorous training, Kipchoge’s running career led to massive success. After winning medals for the 5k in Athens in 2004, and Beijing in 2008. Kipchoge also won the gold medal for the marathon at the Rio Olympics in 2016 and has won numerous marathons since.
Kipchoge has had many attempts at breaking two hours for the 26.2-mile race. He tried to do this in 2017 during Nike’s Breaking2 project, and in the Berlin marathon in 2018, which he broke the world record with a time of 2:01:39. Now, he had the task of competing against his own time and making history. Against all odds, Kipchoge ran the fastest marathon ever recorded with a time of 1:59:40. To run this time, Kipchoge kept a solid pace of 4:35 per mile for 26.2 miles, which is a speed that many great runners can only hold for a few minutes at a time. His time at the halfway point was 59:35 and had a consistent pace between 2:48 and 2:52 per kilometer (62.5 percent of 1 mile).
Unfortunately, the International Association of Athletics Federations recognizes his accomplishment, but has said that this race will not be counted as an official record because the race was not an open competition and that there were certain conditions in place for Kipchoge to make the time. The course was relatively flat with minimal turns, and there were teams of pacers in place to shield Kipchoge from wind resistance. Some consider the race to be an “all-or-nothing time trial.” Nevertheless, the feat is still spectacular as no human has ever run a full marathon at this speed before.
It has been 65 years since Roger Bannister became the first person to run the mile in under four minutes in 1954. That groundbreaking feat has inspired many runners to achieve impossible odds. Now, Kipchoge’s name will be remembered along with Bannister’s for breaking impossible records and will inspire many future runners to follow in his footsteps. “I am feeling good, after Roger Bannister, it took another 65 years to make history. Now I’ve gone under two hours to inspire other people, and show the world that nobody is limited” Kipchoge remarked after completing his race. His accomplishment will set a great example for future runners and will be remembered for many years to come.