World marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge has said he feels ready for the INEOS 1:59 Challenge slated for this Saturday in Vienna, Austria.
Kipchoge made the sentiments Thursday in his first press conference after he held a training session with his pace makers on Wednesday.
“I’m feeling well, I’m happy with the course and I am waiting for Saturday,” He said.
“Before Roger Bannister ran a sub-four-minute mile many humans believed it was not possible,” he explains. “Last year I ran 2:01:39 (in Berlin) no human being at that time thought it was possible. When Kenenisa Bekele ran 2:01:41 (at the Berlin Marathon last month) that is a perfect illustration that no human is limited.
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“I feel more prepared, more ready and more confident. I have been running with that (sub-two-hour) speed for the past two years, so it is not a case of wondering how I am going to do it.
“Nothing is 100 per cent certain but I can assure you I am calm and looking forward to Saturday,” he explains. “Saturday is about making history that no human is limited and about giving positivity to the world and making sure every human being smiles.”
All eyes will be on the marathon bigwig who clocked 2 hrs 00:25 seconds in the NIKE Breaking 2 project in 2017.
Eliud will start his historic quest on Vienna’s famous imperial bridge, the Reichsbrücke. After approximately 1.2km he will reach the Ferris Wheel at the Praterstern roundabout where he will enter the Prater and begin 4.4 laps of the tree-lined Hauptallee, the historic avenue that runs through the heart of the Viennese Park.
An electric timing car will be used to control the pace of the race, which will be set at a consistent 2:50 minute per kilometre.
A world class line-up of 41 pacemakers will be used to help Eliud achieve his goals.
35 pacemakers will run on the day and there are 6 reserve runners. Among the top-class names include World Championship 5000m silver medallist Selemon Barega of Ethiopia, former world 1500m and 5000m champion Bernard Lagat of the USA and the Norwegian Ingebrigtsen brothers – Henrik, Filip and Jakob.
Kipchoge began his first day in Vienna by running on the challenge course with several of his pacemakers. He arrived in Vienna on Tuesday and is poised to complete the marathon in less than two hours.
He will be seeking to shatter his own record set last year at the Berlin City marathon of two hours, one minute and 39 seconds.
This will be Kipchoge’s second attempt to break the two-hours barrier after coming close in May 2017 in the Nike’s Breaking2 project held at the Monza Formula one track in Italy.