Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge made history by becoming the first person to run a marathon in under two hours as he smashed that mark by 20 seconds in Vienna, in what is being feted as a landmark day for sport.
Kipchoge, 34, covered the 26.2-mile (42.2km) course in the Austrian capital in 1 hour 59 minutes and 40 seconds.
The achievement came at a specially-organized event by British chemicals giant Ineos at which all the conditions were carefully calibrated to give Kipchoge the best chance of success.
He was accompanied by an army of 41 rotating pace-setters, while there was a laser beamed onto the track in front of the Kenyan to show the pace he needed to keep.
Kipchoge was also wearing specially designed Nike ZoomX Vaporfly shoes in which the world’s five fastest marathon times have been set.
The Vienna course had been carefully selected as providing the optimum chance of making the mark, as was the timing of the attempt after input from meteorologists.
The achievement will not be recognized as a world record because it was not made in open competition – meaning Kipchoge’s own mark of 2 hours 1 minute and 39 seconds is still the official time to beat – but the run in Vienna was still met with widespread amazement.
Eliud Kipchoge has run 26 miles in under 2 hours and theres no a bead of sweat on him, what a man.
I’ve just walked up the stairs with a cuppa and I’m bolloxed
— Jay (@TracksideJay) October 12, 2019
This was crazy!! The guy is a machine, didn’t even look tired at the end 😅
— Lucy Bronze (@LucyBronze) October 12, 2019
The Kenyan world record holder had previously attempted to hit the mark two years ago on the Monza race track in Italy, but fell short by 26 seconds.
After making the mark this time, he proclaimed that “no human is limited.”