By Elias Makori, Mobile.nation.co.ke
After falling just 26 seconds shy of breaking the two-hour barrier in the marathon in May 2017, world marathon record holder, Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge still believes he can be the first man to dip under the iconic time.
On Monday, Kipchoge announced he will have another go at “breaking two” in a specially organised race, probably in London, “between late September and early October.”
In the first attempt at the Nike-engineered “Breaking2” project, Kipchoge, 35, powered by a cocktail of pacemakers on the Monza Formula One race track, ran two hour and 25 seconds, falling agonisingly close to breaking the two-hour barrier.
The fresh attempt – dubbed “INEOS 1:59 Challenge” – is backed by British chemical manufacturer, INEOS, which also has interests in other endurance sports such as cycling and sailing.
Among INEOS’s projects is the “Daily Mile” and “GO Run For Fun” charity initiatives that seek to have students in England’s schools stay active.
INEOS also supports Swiss football club, Lausanne-Sport and Britain’s challenge for the iconic America’s Cup sailing competition spearheaded by British sailing legend, Sir Ben Ainslie.
“Two years ago in Monza, the world got to 26 seconds from breaking the last milestone in athletics. This fall I want to break this barrier. Follow the journey on @INEOS159 as I attempt to rewrite history,” Kipchoge posted on Twitter on Monday.
Kipchoge’s stable, Global Sports Communications (GSC), which is based in Nijmegen, Netherlands, further announced that a London venue for the fresh attempt is being considered.
GSC is headed by former Dutch distance running champion, Jos Hermens and handles some of the world’s top elite athletes including Kenya’s multiple world cross country champion Geoffrey Kamworor and Ethiopian legends Haile Gebrselassie and Kenenisa Bekele.
“The sub two-hour marathon is the last great barrier of modern athletics. Eliud Kipchoge, the world’s greatest marathon runner, will attempt to break the two-hour barrier in the INEOS 1:59 Challenge, a special marathon being run between late September and early October 2019,” GSC said in a statement issued by the management company’s marketing manager Marleen Vink-Rennings.
Kipchoge, fresh from winning the London Marathon in the second fastest ever marathon time of 2:02:38, said the Monza attempt was the “proudest moment” of his career and that he was excited to have another go at the two-hour barrier.
“Running the fastest ever marathon time of 2:00:25 was the proudest moment of my career. To get another chance to break the magical two-hour mark is incredibly exciting. I always say that no human is limited, and I know that it is possible for me to break this barrier,” he said on Monday.