It’s finally happened. Eliud Kipchoge has run a marathon in under 2 hours, and in doing so has reset the limits of human possibility.
Running in Vienna earlier today, the Kenyan recorded a time of 1:59:40 at the INEOS 1:59 challenge.
Celebrations erupted in Kenya and across the world as the 34-year old crossed the line with 20 seconds to spare.
Assisted by 41 pacemakers and an electric pace car that set optimum speeds, the Olympic gold medal winner technically broke his own record of 2:01:39, set in his last sub-two-hour attempt in Berlin last year. However, this new time won’t be counted by the record books because it was not run under open marathon conditions and featured so many pacers.
The record books don’t really matter today though, because on a course chosen for its speed, Kipchoge dragged the human race forward, bounding across a barrier that only a few years back seemed insurmountable.
We now know that humans can run a marathon in under 120 minutes. Or at least, one of us can. Completing the first half of the course in a lung busting 59 minutes 35 seconds, it took Kipchoge just one more hour to run the remaining 13 odd miles.
13 miles an hour. That’s just under 21km an hour. For two hours. We do not suggest trying that on your gym treadmill.
Speaking to Eurosport, presumably between some deep breaths, Kipchoge said "I am feeling good. After Roger Bannister in 1954 it took another 63 years. I tried and I did not get it - 65 years, I am the first man - I want to inspire many people, that no human is limited."
The Kenyan also thanked his pacers, calling them “among the best athletes in the world.”
Has anyone told Usain Bolt that there’s a new fastest man in the world?