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Eliud's Diary: 4 October 2019


For my final diary piece I thought I would offer an insight into what I expect my race week will look like for the INEOS 1:59 Challenge.

As those of you who have read my past diary entries will be aware, my preparation, in many respects, is exactly the same for the INEOS 1:59 Challenge as it is for any marathon.

However, there are a few differences, not least because in Vienna I’m not necessarily racing on a set day. For a typical competition, whether that is a London Marathon or Berlin Marathon or indeed an Olympic Games, I know many months in advance the particular date I will racing on.

But due to organisers of the INEOS 1:59 Challenge putting in place an eight-day window from October 12-20 to give me the option to compete in the best possible conditions, I will need to have a flexible mindset, while also preparing as if I am competing on October 12.

Unlike a Berlin or a London – cities I know well from regularly competing in their great marathons – I will also have to quickly overcome my unfamiliarity with either the city of Vienna of the course for the INEOS 1:59 Challenge.

I am excited to compete in Vienna – it is both a beautiful city and a sporting city – but I have not been to Vienna. So, it will certainly take me a day or so to get used to a new city, a new hotel and my new surroundings, although I am not expecting this will take long.

Top of my bucket list in Vienna will be to check out the race course. I have seen pictures and a video of the course, but it will good to jog on it to get a feel for the start area, finish, and the roundabouts on the course.

I will probably only need to jog the course once or twice, but it is important to store information in my mind.

Perhaps the only other difference between the INEOS 1:59 Challenge and other marathons is that I am competing purely by myself against the clock. Even when competing in Breaking2, I was up against two other competitors. However, as I know so many of the pacemakers and with the support I will be given from the organisers, sponsors, and technical and coaching team, I am not alone. Everybody is doing their best to help me make history.

In all other respects, the INEOS 1:59 Challenge will be no different to other marathons. I will concentrate on receiving the right massage and physio, the best nutrition and I will try to rest as much as possible during race week.

As for sleep on the night before the race? Well, I did not sleep a wink before Breaking2 but I hope this time to grab a few hours sleep before the big race.

Oh, and I will also have four special people in Vienna following my progress; my wife Grace, and children, Lynne, Griffin and Gordon. It will be the first time they’ve ever watched me race, but I desperately want them to be in Vienna to see history being made.

Thank you for reading my diary pieces.


As told to Steve Landells


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