Kipchoge driven by will to inspire in sub-two quest
World marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge views his sub-two hour marathon attempt next month as akin to an inspiration to generation that no human is limited.
Kipchoge, 34, says he is aware should he attain the fete, it will not be recognised as a new record by world athletics governing body IAAF, but he wants the record breaking attempt to send a powerful message to the world that ‘nothing is impossible to human achievement’.
Speaking in a wide-ranging press conference in Nairobi on Wednesday, Kipchoge brimmed with confidence he will beat the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna, Austria set for mid-October.
“I am not running for world record but I will be running to make history. I want to inspire human being that everything is possible when it’s tried.”
He went on: “I want journalists from Kenya to write good stories from that event which will put Kenya on the map and this shows you how the event is important to myself and the generation,” elated Kipchoge told.
Two years ago Kipchoge – assisted by a lead car and 30 supporting pacing runners – set the fastest ever unofficial marathon time of 2:00:25 on the Monza track in Italy.
The Berlin marathon champion, widely regarded as the greatest marathoner of the modern era, also explained how top long distance runners and marathoners who will pace his ambitious challenge will be vital in his quest, likening them to a ‘human kidney’.
America’s world and Olympic 5,000m medalist Paul Chelimo and Kenya based Swiss Julien Wanders, who is the European half-marathon record holder, are among the latest star names recently added to Kipchoge’s pace making 16-man roaster.
Kipchoge’s pace making squad will also be joined by Ethiopia’s Tesfahun Akalnew, Ugandan Mande Bushendich, American Shadrack Kipchirchir, Kenyans Philemon Kacheran, Noah Kipkemboi and Vincent Kiprotich.
“I can use cars or anything else as pace setters but when you see a human being next to you it really encourages you. It’s just like kidneys in human body because you cannot do without them. Pace setters are very important on determining ‘how far you can go’,” he added.
In 2018, the four-time London marathon winner smashed the 2014 world record set by compatriot Dennis Kimetto by a massive one minutes and 16 seconds, clocking 2 hours, 01 minute and 39 seconds to retain his Berlin Marathon title.
By winning the sub-two challenge, Kipchoge will notch up 12 wins from the 13 marathons he has raced, winning three times in Berlin and four in London, with victories in Rio for Olympic gold as well as in Hamburg, Rotterdam and Chicago.