Kipchoge breaks two hour mark for 26.2 miles

The fastest marathon ever was ran on Oct. 12 by Eliud Kipchoge

Two hours, depending on who you ask, can either be a lot of time or hardly any at all. Two hours of sleep at night seems to go by much too quickly, but two hours of class during the day seems like a never ending torturous death sentence. 

However, in both situations, we somehow make it through to the other side. But in the running world, there is something special about that time. 

That time was the arbitrary mark set out that people all over the world considered to be an impossible barrier to break when it came to running a marathon. 

Covering over 26 miles in less than two hours was thought, for a long time, to be impossible. But on Oct. 12, 2019, Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya, alongside many of the best runners in the world and with support from INEOS, a petrochemical company, set out to make history. 

Kipchoge already had in his possession the world record which he earned in Berlin of 2018 with a time of 2:01:39, but he wanted to continue to push the limits of what was considered possible. 

INEOS organized an event in Vienna that was specifically designed for Kipchoge to break that time. Under the mantra #NoHumanIsLimited, newly created and highly controversial “shoes” on his feet, surrounded by 41 pacesetters rotating in and out of the race, a roaring crowd offering their support and an electric car driving at exactly 4:34 minute per mile pace to keep him on track, the racers toed the line and set off. 

After falling behind pace early on, Kipchoge was able to recover and then shatter the temporal ceiling by 20 seconds with a time of 1:59:40, proving that the two hour limit was nothing more than a myth. 

Due to the cycle of pacesetters not running the entire race, as well as the methods Kipchoge received his nourishment throughout the race, as well as a few other reasons, this is not an official world record, but it is still the fastest marathon time in history which is an incredible accomplishment in and of itself. 

Running a 4:34 minute mile is difficult on its own and then running another mile immediately after at the same pace gets exponentially more difficult. And when you tack on 24 more miles after that, the realization quickly sets in why the two hour barrier was deemed impossible. 

Kipchoge’s time invites more runners to break the 120 minute mark which he firmly believes will happen now that the hurdle has been overcome. The new milestone reveals to the world what was once thought impossible, is now achievable. 

Naysayers speak on the faults of the course, the method in which the race was being carried out and even the shoes he was wearing, but the feat is undeniably incredible. Arguably the best moment of the day came milliseconds after Kipchoge crossed the finish line with hardly any strain on his face as he seemed to glide over the last 500 meters. 

As soon as he crossed the line, he ran straight into the embrace of his wife, Grace and their children. What made their embrace so memorable was that this was the first time they have seen him race in person. The pure elation etched across not only his family’s faces, but also the thunderous cheers and deafening applause from fans in attendance and all over the world, truly made this moment an iconic one that will go down in history. But Kipchoge does not want this record to sit and metaphorically collect dust on the shelf. 

He hopes that other runners are inspired by his performance, continue to push the limits of human achievement and in the words of Kipchoge after crossing the line, “when we run, we can make this world a beautiful world.”

~Austin Urch, Staff Writer~

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