Eliud Kipchoge has made history as he becomes the first athlete to run a marathon in less than two hours, although the feat will not count as a world record, according to the world athletics body.
The Kenyan Olympic marathon champion and world record holder completed a course around Vienna’s Prater park in Austria, in one hour, 59 minutes and 40 seconds on a cool, misty and windless autumnal morning on Saturday.
Kipchoge was supported by 36 pacemakers who accompanied him in alternating groups, one of the reasons the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) will not ratify the time as a world record.
However, its president Sebastian Coe welcomed the record attempt.
Running at a consistent average pace of 2:50 minutes per kilometre (4:33.5 minutes per mile), Kipchoge was 11 seconds ahead of schedule halfway through his run.
The pacemakers left him for the final 500 metres, and Kipchoge punched his chest twice in celebration when he finished.
Speaking after the race, Kipchoge said: “It has taken 65 years for a human being to make history in sport. I am the happiest man to run under two hours. I am here to inspire everyone that it can be done.”