The organizers of the Ineos 1:59 challenge created the ideal conditions for the record.
On October 12, in Vienna, Kenyan runner Eliud Kipchoge again tries to run out of 2 hours at a 42.2 km marathon. Two years ago, he had already made such an attempt in the Breaking2 project, organized by Nike, and finished with a time of 2:00:25.
In Breaking2, Kipchog escaped accompanied by 30 pacers, who replaced each other every 5 kilometers, and two partners, the same project participants — Zersenay Tadese and Lelisa Desisa. Nike conducted the project as a competition between three athletes, figuring out which of them would last longer and get closer to the goal of 2 hours.
Eliud Kipchoge defeated his comrades, but did not defeat the limit of 2 hours. Now Kipchoge is confident that overcoming the two-hour bar is no longer a matter of physics, but of the mindset.
To run a marathon in 1:59:00, you need to run every kilometer in 2 minutes 50 seconds. Since Eliud became the hero from whom this record is expected, a new entertainment appeared at sports exhibitions before the races, which instantly became popular. Visitors are invited to run at a pace of Eliud at 2:50 min/km on a treadmill. Few can hold out at that speed for more than 1-2 minutes.
In support of the upcoming race, the organizers released the browser-based game “Bring Kipchoge to the Finish”, where you need to use the space bar or tap the screen on your mobiles to maintain a suitable runner speed for the record. Do not drive him too fast or run too slowly.
In reality, an attempt to break the record will take place in the Prater park in Vienna, where viewers can watch the record. It is there that you can achieve ideal conditions for a record: temperature and humidity, altitude, time difference. Temperature is expected to be less than 10 degrees with low humidity; the time difference with Kenya, where Eliud Kipchoge trains — 1 hour; the height of the city above sea level is 165 meters, in the lowland oxygen availability is higher than in the mountains where the athlete trains (2400 meters above sea level).
Kipchoge will run 4.4 laps on the highway, each 9.6 km long. Every 4.8 km the leading athlete group of pacemakers will be replaced by a fresh one. In total, 41 pacemakers will help Eliud. These are the best runners in the world, winners of world championships, champions and Olympic medalists who specially trained together to work out the procedure for changing pacemakers.
If an athlete runs out of two hours, his result will not be counted as a world record. According to the rules of the IAAF International Athletics Association, a record is only counted at official starts with real conditions — there all pacemakers must be present at a distance from the start of the race, and not join during the race with fresh forces, as was done at Ineos 1:59 Challenege and in the Breaking2 project.
At a marathon in Berlin in 2018, where the conditions were real, and not exactly calculated by a team of 150 trainers, physiotherapists, doctors and other specialists, Eliud Kipchoge broke the world record for a marathon, but did not run out of 2 hours. His time was 2:01:39.
The start of Ineos 1:59 in Vienna is scheduled for October 12 in the interval from 5 to 9 in the morning. The organizers were looking for a period of time where there would be no rain, the temperature would be 5–9 degrees, and the wind speed 2 m/s. The exact start time will be announced on Friday, October 11th.
The broadcast will be shown on 30 television channels, as well as live on Youtube.