'It took a great heart!' says history-making Kipchoge
Kenya’s long distance runner Eliud Kipchoge said the toughest moments for him came before making history by running one hour, 59 minutes and 40 seconds during the “INEOS 1:59 Challenge” on Saturday morning in Vienna, Austria.
“Waking up at 4:50am and the actual race at 8.15am were my hardest moments and not really during the race,” said Kipchoge, who made history as the first man to run a marathon under two hours on his second attempt.
Kipchoge said it was a great feeling making history, having taken 65 years for a human being to accomplish such a feat since Roger Bannister.
Bannister, the British middle-distance athlete and neurologist, ran the first sub four-minute mile when winning at the Oxford AAA Team, Oxford, Britain in 3:59.40 on May 6, 1954.
“I wanted to make such history after 63 years but felt short hence it feels great to finally do it after 65 years. I have made it!” said the 34-year-old Kipchoge, who fell short by 26 seconds in his first attempt during Nike “Breaking2” race in Monza, Italy in 2017 where he timed 2:00:25.
Kipchoge said he hopes to continue inspiring many people that no human is limited and that they can achieve what they want if they stretch their limits.
“I needed perseverance and great heart to run and I want to thank all the 41 pacesetters for their sacrifice. They are some of the finest athletes in the world and for sure we did it together,” said Kipchoge, who holds the marathon World Record time of 2:01:39.
Kipchoge said besides proving no human is limited, he wanted to prove to the world the positivity of sports. “I want to make athletics a clean sport and I want people to wake up every morning and just run since many of these diseases are kept away through staying fit,” said Kipchoge.
Kipchoge took his time too to thank Kenyans led by President Uhuru Kenyatta and his fans across the world for their encouraging messages. “It really contributed to my success,” said Kipchoge.
Kipchoge’s coach Patrick Sang was over the moon. “I’m yet to come back to the earth…it’s the most exciting moment for any human being and I am privilege to handle such an athlete,” said Kipchoge. “It has challenged upcoming athletes to aim higher and never give up.”
Asked if Kipchoge is likely to achieve the feat on a certified course, Sang said: “Why not? Kipchoge himself said records are meant to be broken hence it can be done with proper planning.”