Kenyan running legend Eliud Kipchoge will attempt to break the elusive two-hour barrier for the marathon during the INEOS 1:59 Challenge, which is set to be held in Vienna this month.
It will be Kipchoge’s second attempt at the magical mark following the Nike-organised Breaking2 event in 2017.
Here’s everything you need to know about the INEOS 1:59 Challenge
Eliud Kipchoge marathon world record attempt: What is the INEOS 1:59 Challenge?
The INEOS 1:59 Challenge is an attempt by Kenyan distance running legend Eliud Kipchoge to break the two-hour barrier for the marathon.
It will be Kipchoge’s second attempt at the remarkable feat, with the attempt borrowing strongly from Roger Bannister’s four-minute mile record.
Kipchoge marathon challenge date: When is INEOS 1:59?
Eluid Kipchoge will take part in the INEOS 1:59 challenge between October 12 and October 14.
Initially there was a one week window for the run to be completed, but that has now been narrowed down to a three-day gap. The preferred day is Saturday, October 12.
What time is INEOS 1:59?
The stream, which you can watch below, is scheduled to start at 7am BST. That works out to 5pm AEDT/4pm AEST. In New Zealand, that’s 7pm.
How to watch Eliud Kipchoge’s INEOS 1:59 Challenge
The INEOS 1:59 challenge will be streamed live on YouTube around the world.
You can watch the entire run right here in the player below.
Who is Eliud Kipchoge?
Eliud Kipchoge is one of the greatest distance runners of all time and is considered the greatest marathoner ever.
He is the current marathon world record holder and Olympic champion, having won gold at the Rio de Janeiro games in 2016.
Where is the INEOS 1:59 Challenge?
After an extensive worldwide search, INEOS announced Vienna would play host to the record-breaking attempt.
The run will be held on a multi-lap course in The Prater – a famous park in the center of the Austrian capital.
Each lap is 9.6km, consisting of a 4.3km out-and-back along the tree-lined Hauptallee in the middle of the park.
Vienna was selected for its optimal weather conditions and fresh air, with spectators able to line the boulevards and watch the audacious record-breaking attempt.
What is the marathon world record?
Eliud Kipchoge holds the marathon world record of 2:01:39, which he set at the Berlin marathon last September.
That time was almost beaten at this year’s Berlin Marathon by Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, who clocked in at 2:01:41.
The 34-year-old Kipchoge also holds the record for the fastest marathon ever run – 2:00:26 – which he set during Nike’s Breaking2 attempt in 2017. It is not considered a world record, because he drafted behind a car and had pace-makers relaying in and out during the run.
How fast will Eliud Kipchoge need to run to break two hours?
To break the elusive two-hour barrier, Kipchoge will need to average 2:50 per kilometre. That’s about 4:41 per mile in the old days.
Just in case you weren’t aware already – that’s absurdly fast.
It will require Kipchoge to run 5km in 14:10,10km in 28:20 and the half marathon in around 59:47.
To put that in perspective, the 5000m world record is 12:37.35, set by Keninesa Bekele in 2004.
Bekele also owns the 10,000m world record of 26:17.63 which he set in 2005.
What is INEOS?
INEOS is one of the largest chemical and manufacturing companies in the world, with sales of roughly $60 billion.
According to its website, INEOS is involved in the production of drinking water, and helps produce cars and planes that are more fuel efficient.
The company has recently started investing in sport and sponsorships, with the INEOS 1:59 Challenge the latest initiative.
The Team INEOS cycling team is competing at the Tour de France, with current TdF champion Geraint Thomas leading the way.
INEOS Team UK, led by Sir Ben Ainslie, is also aiming to become the first official British entry in The America’s Cup.
Marathon world record progression
As training methods, shoe technology and professionalism have increased over the past century, the marathon world record has fallen dramatically.
American Johnny Hayes is credited with the first marathon world record of 2:55:18, which he set at the London Olympics in 1908.
Fellow American Albert Michelsen become the first man to run a sub-2:30 marathon, when he took 1:04 off the record in 1925.
British running legend Jim Peters became the first 2:20 marathoner in 1953 as he lowered the world record four times in a row in the space of two years.
Ground-breaking Ethiopian runner Abebe Bekele became the first African marathon world record holder at the Rome Olympics in 1960. His time of 2:12:11 is still the fastest marathon ever run in bare feet, and he set a new record at the Tokyo Olympics four years later – this time with shoes.
Australian Derek Clayton lowered the record twice – first to 2:09:36, then to 2:08:33 – with countryman Robert De Castella recording a 2:08:18 in 1981 for a new mark.
The time has dropped in increments ever since, with Paul Tergat becoming the first man to go under 2:05, Haile Gebreselassie the first to break 2:04 and Dennis Kimetto going under 2:03 for the first time.
The last seven world records have been set at the Berlin Marathon, known for its flat course, use of pace makers and relatively few turns.
Australians named in Eliud Kipchoge’s pacemaking team
Four Australians have been named in the 41-strong pacemaking team that Kipchoge will use for the INEOS 1:59 challenge.
Jack Rayner, Brett Robinson, Stewart McSweyn and Patrick Tiernan will all be in Vienna this weekend for the record attempt.