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The runner from Kenya, who is already recognized as the greatest male marathon runner ever, ran 26.2 miles at a special time trial in Vienna, Austria, in 1:59:40, becoming the first person to break the two-hour mark.
Kipchoge’s time doesn’t count as an official world record because it wasn’t in an officially sanctioned race, but he still managed to pull the feat off, official or not.
Kipchoge’s pace for that 26.2 miles in Vienna in 2019 was an incredible 4:34.5 per mile, which is mind-blowing.
Let’s put this into perspective: the average time for a finishing time for a 5k race in the UK is 33:54 for both men and women. To complete a marathon in less than two hours, Kipchoge had to run the equivalent of eight 5ks in a row with a time of 14:13.
Here’s another way to look at it: Kipchoge’s marathon time is the equivalent of running 100-meter sprints in just over 17 seconds…422 TIMES IN A ROW.
The Kenyan relied on a drink called Maurten to to fill his body with carbohydrates and give him his much-needed energy during his record-breaking run.
Kipchoge did have some advantages because this was not an officially sanctioned race. He had a group of runners who rotated in and out and formed a V formation in front of him throughout the run called “pacemakers” and a pace car in front of them that showed them their projected running times throughout the race.
Also, the run was specifically chosen to take place in Vienna in October because the city is mostly flat and the weather was cool with little humidity. The city’s low altitude helped, as well.
After he finished the marathon in under two hours, Kipchoge said,
“I am the happiest man in the world to be the first human to run under two hours and I can tell people that no human is limited. I expect more people all over the world to run under two hours after today.”
Watch this video to see the final kilometer of his record-breaking run.
This guy is absolutely incredible!