Kenya runs a two-hour marathon in Vienna
In a photo file this Tuesday, April 30, 2019, Kenya Eliud Kipchoge, owner of the world record holder for the marathon, poses for photographers at Iffley Road, Oxford, England. Kipchoge's attempt to run a sub-hour marathon is scheduled for Saturday, October 12 at Prater Park, the landmark of the Vienna City Marathon. Matt Dunham / Associated Press
The 34-year-old Kenyan attempt to run a one-hour marathon is set for Saturday, October 12, in a major part of the Vienna City Marathon's landmarks in Prater Park.
Event organizers on Wednesday decided to stick to the first scheduled race date, although they initially used a nine-day window to allow for a rescheduling in case of adverse weather conditions.
However, the optimal criteria for the INEOS 1:59 challenge seem to be met on Saturday. Early morning temperatures can range from 41 to 48 degrees Fahrenheit, with humidity below 80%, dry conditions and not too strong winds.
"We have been looking at how the weather in Vienna is going, and the current conditions seem to be optimal this Saturday morning for temperature, humidity, wind and rain," said Robby Ketchell, who leads the team's weather analysis.
The family record holder's attempt to become the first person to walk 26.2 miles in less than two hours is evidenced by her family - wife Grace and three children.
"This is the first time they are going to see me in the competition, but I want them to be in Vienna to make history," Kipchoge quoted as saying on the event's website.
Kipchoge starts its run between 5 and 9 p.m., with the exact timing being decided on Friday afternoon based on recent forecasts. His team also takes into account the daily rhythm of his body.
Kipchoge arrived Tuesday morning from the Kaptengat Kenya training camp in the Austrian capital, saying he was looking forward to "show the world that no one is restricted".
This is Kipchoge's second attempt to break the two-hour barrier after reaching a similar event, Breaking2, in a 25-second short race on the Italian Formula 1 course in Monza in May 2017.
Just like then, the IAAF does not confirm Saturday's end time as an official world record due to variables such as pacing enthusiasts. That doesn't hurt Kipchoge too much, as he holds a world record of 2:01:39 from last year's Berlin Marathon when he knocked over an earlier record set by Dennis Kimetto.
41 speeding teams include: United States Olympic 1500m champion Matthew Centrowitz; Ethiopia's Selemon Barega, who won 5,000 silver at the Doha World Championships and holds 3000 world-leading times this year; and Ronald Musagala of Uganda, who won two 1500 races this year on the Diamond League circuit.
They help keep the Kipchoge on a flat and 4.3-kilometer straight track, protected from the wind by most trees, with high rounded edges at both ends, allowing turns to be made without slowing down. In August, organizers made the surface of the park smoother than ever before, giving it a new surface.
"One element that is very important to the Elite is the crowd," said running coach Patrick Sang, making a public appeal to the local public, "and encouraging him to help him make history."