Eliud Kipchoge has become the first athlete to run a marathon in under two hours, beating the mark by 20 seconds.

The Kenyan, 34, covered the 26.2 miles (42.2km) in one hour 59 minutes 40 seconds in the Ineos 1:59 Challenge in Vienna, Austria on Saturday.

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It will not be recognised as the official marathon world record because it was not in open competition and he used a team of rotating pacemakers.
The Olympic champion missed out by 25 seconds in a previous attempt in 2017.

Knowing he was about to make history on the home straight, the pacemakers dropped back to let Kipchoge sprint over the line alone, roared on by a large crowd in the Austrian capital.

The four-time London Marathon winner embraced his wife Grace, grabbed a Kenyan flag and was mobbed by his pacemakers, including many of the world’s best middle and long-distance runners.

With a leading

pace car beaming green lasers on to the road to indicate the required pace of 2:50 per kilometre, Kipchoge never went slower than 2:52 for any.

He was 10 seconds ahead of schedule at the halfway mark, before appearing to slow with a few 2:52 kilometres, only to regain the pace and kick on in the final stages.

Kipchoge was assisted by a team of 42 pacemakers, including Olympic 1500m champion Matthew Centrowitz, Olympic 5,000m silver medallist Paul Chelimo and the Ingebrigtsen brothers Jakob, Filip and Henrik.

His coaches delivered him water and energy gels by bike over 4.4 laps of a 5.97-mile course in the city’s Prater park, instead of having to pick refreshments up from a table as in normal competition marathons.

These aids are not allowed under the rules of the IAAF, athletics’ world governing body, which is why it will not recognise this feat as the official marathon world record.

Kipchoge holds the official marathon world record of 2:01:39, set in Berlin, Germany in 2018.

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