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18th September 2019

More world-class names added to INEOS 1:59 Challenge

Thirteen more pacemakers have been confirmed to help Eliud Kipchoge in his bid to become the first human to run a sub-two hour marathon at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna in October.

All 13 of the pacers took part in the testing for the challenge in Vienna at the start of this month (SEPTEMBER) and will return for the real thing in three weeks’ time united in the aim of helping Kipchoge make history.

Among the latest batch of pacemakers is Marius Kipserem (KEN) who set a course record time of 2:04:11 to win this year’s Rotterdam Marathon. The 31-year-old, whose time in Rotterdam ranks him as the sixth fastest marathoner in the world this year, is also the reigning Abu Dhabi Marathon champion.

Also confirmed as pacemakers are Eric Kiptanui (KEN), the sixth fastest man ever over the half-marathon distance (58:42), 2008 Olympic 10000m bronze medallist Micah Kogo (KEN) and Chala Regasa (ETH) who is the sixth fastest man in the world over 10km in 2019 (27:23).

Kipserem said: “It was a fantastic experience to be part of the testing for the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna. All of us there were able to learn a great deal about what will be expected of us on the day of the challenge itself when it is our aim to come together as one team and help Eliud Kipchoge make history.

“During the weekend of testing, you could really feel the team come together as one and we are all united in the belief that Eliud can do this - he can be the first man ever to run sub-two hour marathon. Our jobs as pacemakers is to do all we can to help Eliud make this happen.”

Other pacemakers confirmed for the INEOS 1:59 Challenge are: Gideon Kipketer (KEN), Stanley Kebenei (USA), Shadrack Koech (KAZ), Moses Koech (KEN), Thomas Ayeko (UGA), Emmanuel Bett (KEN), Timothy Toroitich (UGA) and Kaan Kigen Ozbilen (TUR).

Full bios:

Thomas Ayeko (UGA, DOB 10/2/1992)   

Ayeko was part of the Ugandan team that won a gold medal at the World Cross-Country Championships in Denmark this year. He was fourth in the 5000m at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and won a bronze medal in the African Cross-Country Championships in the same year. He has a half-marathon personal best of 60:26.

Emmanuel Bett (KEN, DOB 29/3/1985)

Bett has a 10,000m personal best of 26:51:16 which was the fastest time run over that distance in 2012. In 2011 he won the famous Zatopek 10 race in Melbourne. He has a half-marathon personal best of 60:08 which he set in winning the Azkoitia-Azpeitia Half-Marathon in Spain in 2015.

Stanley Kebenei (USA, DOB: 6/11/1989)  

Kebenei finished runner-up in the 3000m steeplechase at the USA Track & Field Championships to book his spot at the World Championships in Doha. He represented the USA at the World Cross-Country Championships in March.

Gideon Kipketer (KEN, DOB 10/11/1992)

Part of the NN Running Team with Eliud Kipchoge, Kipketer has a marathon personal best of 2:05:51 which he set in finishing second in the Tokyo Marathon which is part of the World Marathon Majors series. He has also finished third in the 2016 Chicago Marathon and won the 2016 Mumbai Marathon.

Marius Kipserem (KEN, DOB: 17/5/1988):

Kipserem is on a winning streak of marathons. He won the Abu Dhabi Marathon last December and then followed that up by winning the Rotterdam Marathon in April in 2:04:11, a new course record. It was the second time he had won the Rotterdam Marathon, with his first victory coming in 2016.

Eric Kiptanui (KEN, DOB 19/4/1990)

Kiptanui is a half-marathon specialist who is the sixth fastest man ever over the 13.1-mile distance thanks to the 58:42 time he clocked to win the 2018 Berlin Half-Marathon. He has also won the 2018 Barcelona Half-Marathon and the 2019 Lisbon Half-Marathon.

Moses Koech (KEN, DOB 5/8/1997)

Koech has a 10km personal best of 27:46 which he set in finishing third in the Durban 10km last year behind Joshua Cheptegei and Julien Wanders. This year he has finished fifth in the Cape Town 12km (33:53) and second in the Poznan Half-Marathon.

Shadrack Koech (KAZ, DOB 28/12/1999)

Koech won this year’s Appingedam 10km in the Netherlands in a personal best (PB) time of 28:22. He also set a PB of 28:24:40 for 10000m on the track in 2019. He trains in Iten, Kenya.

Micah Kogo (KEN, 30/6/1986)

Kogo is an Olympic bronze medallist from the Beijing Olympics in 2008 when he placed third in the 10000m. He is also a former world record holder for the 10km on the road, setting a time of 27:01 in Brunssum (Netherlands) in 2009. The time is still the fifth fastest time over the distance in history. Kogo also finished runner-up in the 2013 Boston Marathon.

Abdallah Mande (UGA, DOB 10/5/1995)

Mande ran a personal best 10km time of 27:35 to win the 10KM de Port-Gentil in Gabon in June. The time was a course record and the 12th fastest 10km time in the world this year. He also finished runner-up at the Cape Town OneRun 12km race this year. He has a half-marathon personal best of 60:14 set in Venlo, the Netherlands in 2018. As a junior he finished runner-up in the 5000m at the 2013 African Championships.

Kaan Kigen Ozbilen (TUR, DOB 15/1/1986)

Formerly Mike Kipruto Kigen, Ozbilen he won silver medals in both the 5000m and 10000m at the African Championships in 2006 representing Kenya. In 2015, he changed his name to Ozbilen and now competes for Turkey. He holds national records for Turkey at both half marathon (59:48) and the marathon (2:05:27). He also won a silver medal in the European Championships half-marathon in 2016.

Chala Regasa (ETH, DOB 30/4/1987)

Regasa won the 10K Valencia Ibercaja in January of this year in a course record time of 27:23 which was the sixth fastest time in the world this year. He has also set a new personal best of 5000m on the track this summer of 13:06:98.

Timothy Toroitich (UGA, DOB 10/10/1991)

Toroitich had an impressive 2018 when he won a bronze medal in the 10000m at the African Championships and made the final at the Commonwealth Games over the same distance. He also won a bronze medal in the inaugural Commowealth Games Half-Marathon in Cardiff.

The pacemakers are added to those already announced by the INEOS 1:59 Challenge including Norway’s Ingebrigtsen brothers – HenrikFilip and Jakob -  and the USA’s Bernard Lagat. For more information on other pacemakers already announced, click here.

There will be a further announcement on more pacemakers involved in the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in the coming weeks.

The INEOS 1:59 Challenge will take place in Vienna, Austria. The aim is for the event to take place on Saturday 12 October with a period from 13 to 20 October set aside as reserve days should weather conditions on the 12th not be favourable.

Thomas Ayeko

Emmanuel Bett

Stanley Kebenei

Gideon Kipketer

Marius Kipserem

Eric Kiptanui

Moses Koech

Shadrack Koech

Micah Kogo

Abdallah Mande

Kaan Kigen Ozbilen

Chala Regasa

Timothy Toroitich

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