Eliud Kipchoge says: “I am ready”
Those three words uttered by world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge could be prophetic as the world's fastest marathoner attempts to achieve the 'impossible' sub-two-hour marathon in Vienna on Saturday (12 October).
Kipchoge arrived in Austria's capital from his high altitude training base in Kaptagat in Kenya on Tuesday (8 October) and the date for the historic INEOS backed attempt has been set. All that remains to be agreed is the weather dependent start time – between 5:00am and 9:00am.
Patrick Sang (Kipchoge's coach) revealed that as the plane landed in Vienna as his athlete quietly said: “I am ready”, effectively firing the starting pistol on the greatest challenge in athletics. The sub-two-hour attempt will be streamed live by BBC and Eurosport and there will also be unrivalled coverage on the official INEOS 1:59 Challenge website here
Kipchoge has already been familiarising himself with the course and cool weather conditions, while commencing his final carbo-loading phase. The venue at Prater Hauptallee comprises a broad, flat boulevard, with a 4.5 kilometre dead straight main avenue. The marathon course will be 4.4 laps, with a total incline of 2.4m (representing 0.006%) and there is protection and extra oxygen from 2,500 mature trees that line the entire route.
Thousands of spectators are expected to gather for the free event and this will encourage the pacemakers and the one man who many observers believe can make history this weekend. Fan Zones will feature big screens and race commentary, so every second of this extraordinary feat can be relayed. At the Kaiserallee Fan Zone there will also be a 'Tumbleator' (giant treadmill) so fans can attempt to keep up with Kipchoge's pace!
The 41 carefully drilled, world class pacemakers making choreographed exchanges and other unusual factors will obviously mean that any time achieved will not be recognised as a world record but that does not deter Kipchoge. The only question that remains is: Can he do it?
The answer is yes, because he is ready. Kenenisa Bekele's marathon world record miss by two seconds in Berlin last month proves Kipchoge's 2:01:39 is achievable. Geoffrey Kamworor's 58:01 world half marathon record in Copenhagen two weeks earlier raises the bar at half the distance and when Kipchoge set his existing world record in Berlin last year he ran the most even-paced world class marathon ever seen, with unprecedented finishing pace – adding world records at 25K, 30K, 35K and 40K during a phenomenal 1:00:33 second half!
Best of luck Eliud Kipchoge from all at runABC online.
Images courtesy INEOS 1:59 Challenge on Facebook
STOP PRESS: It has been confirmed that the INEOS 1:59 Challenge will start at 8:15am in Vienna (7:15am in UK) tomorrow morning (Saturday 12 October)