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.
Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge was assisted by an army of 30 pacemakers. A pace car emitted a green laser to help keep time.
During the race, Kipchoge followed behind a car — a condition not allowed under IAAF sanctions — and was assisted by an army of 30 pacemakers.
Speaking before the marathon, the reigning Olympic marathon champion said he was aware that there were critics of the manufactured conditions surrounding the attempt.
“The law of nature cannot allow all human beings to think together,” Kipchoge said. “In breaking the two-hour barrier, I want to open minds to think that no human is limited. All our minds, all our thoughts are parallel. But I respect everybody’s thoughts.”
He added that the 1:59 Challenge is different to competing in a race like the Berlin Marathon, where he set the current world record in 2018.
“Berlin is running and breaking a world record,” said Kipchoge. “Vienna is running and making history — like the first man to go to the moon.”
World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge has made history by becoming the first person to run the distance in under two hours.