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10th May 2019

Five reasons why Eliud can run 1:59

No man has yet achieved the Everest-like feat of running a sub-two-hour marathon but here are five very good reasons why Eliud believes he can crack the iconic accomplishment as part of the INEOS 1:59 Challenge.

1 – Experience

As part of the innovative Breaking2 Project in 2017, Eliud Kipchoge defied many pre-race predictions by recording a stunning 2:00:25 at Monza racetrack to come within a whisker of the historic accomplishment. Only needing to run at a pace of one-second per mile quicker – a 1:59 marathon is seemingly within the Kenyan’s grasp.

“Monza was a rich and huge experience whereby I really learned a lot of how to run under two hours,” says Eliud.

2 – Record breaker

His performance in Monza was unratified for record purposes yet on the streets of Berlin last September, Eliud claimed the official world record mark by chopping a jaw-dropping 78 seconds from the previous mark with a 2:01:39 clocking. It was the biggest single improvement in the marathon world record for 51 years and offered more hope that the sub-two-hour marathon is within his reach.

“A world record of two hours and one minute gives me more confidence that I can lower the two-hour mark,” he adds.

Eliud Kipchoge. Credit: Dan Vernon

3 – Consistency

History has never witnessed a marathoner of Eliud’s quality. He has snagged 11 victories out of his 12 marathons including a winning sequence of ten in a row. During this period he has racked up eight Marathon Major victories plus the Olympic title. He is also the owner of the two quickest marathon times in history (or three of the top six) and his average best marathon time from his ten quickest marathons is a stunning 2:03:42!

“The fact that I have been winning and running the fastest times gives me the upper hand to trust in my quest to challenge myself to run under two hours,” he adds.

4 – Belief

Few athletes boast quite the same mental resolve and total belief in their ability as the incomparable Eliud Kipchoge. Undaunted by the prospect of Breaking2 he destroyed the opinion of many naysayers – many of whom believed running a sub-two-hour marathon was well out of reach – by coming tantalisingly close in Monza. Yet his belief extends beyond the personal and he has total faith his support team which includes his lifelong coach, Patrick Sang, his NN Running team-mates, the sponsor of the 1:59 Challenge, INEOS and his shoe sponsor Nike.

“I believe in myself, my team-mates, the whole team and everyone around me that I can run under the two-hour mark,” he adds.

5 – Desire

Having ticked off every other marathon goal in his career - world record, Olympic title and multiple Marathon Major victories – running a 1:59 marathon remains the one remaining world he has left to conquer and he is clearly enthused by the prospect.

“I am still hungry for performing and running under two hours. It is the one thing actually not around my neck,” he says.

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