Eliud Kipchoge: The Man Who Smashed the Two Hour Barrier

Who is Eliud Kipchoge?

Hailing from Kenya, Eliud Kipchoge pronounced as EL-ee-OOD kip-CHOH-gə, is a long-distance runner who competes in Olympics marathons. On 12 October 2019, Eliud Kipchoge ran the marathon distance at a special event in Vienna, Austria and became the first and only man to run a marathon in under two hours, and break the 2-hour record with a time of 1:59:40. 

He won the Olympic marathon in 2016. Eliud Kipchoge then set the marathon world record of 2:01:39 on 16 September 2018, at the 2018 Berlin Marathon. His run broke the previous world record by 1 minute and 18 seconds. This was the greatest improvement in a marathon realm record time since 1967.

Kipchoge won the 2019 London Marathon in a time of 2:02:37, the second-fastest marathon of all time, behind his 2018 Berlin Marathon win. Eliud’s fourth win in London marks a new course record as he beat his own 2016 London Marathon record by 28 seconds.

How fast did Eliud Kipchoge run?

Imagine getting on a treadmill, setting it to 13mph, then running at that pace for two hours one minute 39 seconds. On 12 October 2019, Eliud Kipchoge ran the marathon distance at a special event in Vienna, Austria, achieving a time of 1:59:40. Unfortunately, this run did not count as a new marathon record, as standard competition rules for pacing and fluids were not followed and it was not an open event. The achievement was recognized by Guinness World Records with the titles ‘Fastest marathon distance (male)’ and ‘First marathon distance run under two hours’.

How many miles does Eliud Kipchoge run a week?

A typical Monday for Eliud Kipchoge involves 2 runs, totaling between 26 and 33km (16-20 miles), with the morning run at a decent pace (moderate effort) and the afternoon run at almost a jog. Eliud Kipchoge ran 2:00:25 at the Nike Sub2 Project in early May 2017. 

Born on 5 November 1984 in Kapsisiywa, Nandi District of Kenya, marathon runner Kipchoge had graduated from Kaptel Secondary School in 1999 but did not run seriously then. He ran two miles (3.2 km) to school on a daily basis. Eliud Kipchoge met his trainer Patrick Sang (a former Olympic medalist in the steeplechase) in 2001 at the age of 16. Kipchoge’s wife and three children live in Eldoret, Kenya. Meanwhile, he lives and trains in Kaptagat, 30 km from Eldoret.

What is Eliud Kipchoge net worth?

From his earning on and off the track, Eliud Kipchoge estimated net worth is higher than $500 million. 

How much does Eliud Kipchoge weigh?

57 kg or 125.663 pounds is his weight. 

Eliud Kipchoge’s Career Highlights from 2016

London Marathon: In April 2016, Kipchoge won the London Marathon for the second consecutive year in a time of 2:03:05. The runner’s performance broke the record of the course in London, and became the second-fastest marathon time in history, missing Dennis Kimetto’s world record by just 8 seconds.

Rio Olympic Games: As the pre race favorite, during the 2016 Summer Olympics, Kipchoge gained a gold medal in the marathon event. During the last day of the Rio Olympics on 21 August 2016, he won in a time of 2:08:44. The runner up was Feyisa Lilesa from Ethiopia 2:09:54 and the bronze medal went to Galen Rupp (USA), doing his second marathon, crossing the finish line at 2:10:05. When the halfway point after 21.0975 km was crossed, 37 men were within 10 seconds of the lead runner! Soon the participants field diminished to 3 lead runners shortly before 34 km. Eliud Kipchoge covered the first half of the race in 1:05:55, while doing the second half in 1:02:49, that amounts to a difference of more than 3 minutes, a negative split.

The winning gap between Eliud Kipchoge and Lilesa by 70 seconds is the largest victory margin since the 1972 Olympic marathon. Eliud Kipchoge’s winning time of 2:08:44 is his slowest marathon time as of Apr 2019. 

India: On 20 November 2016, Eliud Kipchoge ran in the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, winning the race clocking a time of 59:44.

Eliud Kipchoge’s Career Highlights from 2017

Nike Breaking2 in Milan

In May 2017, Eluid Kipchoge ran along with Lelisa Desisa (2 time Boston Marathon winner) and Zersenay Tadese (then world record holder in the half marathon), attempted the first sub-two-hour assisted marathon, in the Nike Breaking2 project on the Monza Formula 1 racetrack. 

All the 3 runners ran a test 2 months before the attempt, which is why this race is considered illegal under IAFF rules. The targeted time was 1 hour for a half marathon. Kipchoge finished first in 59:17 (just under an hour). The course was measured at 2400 m. During the 2 hour attempt, the runners were paced by a lead car and 30 supporting pacers joining in stages (both considered illegal under IAAF rules due to the setup of the challenge) The race started at 5:45h local time on the 2.4 km track. Eliud Kipchoge concluded at 2:00:25, while the other two had to slow and finished far behind.

It was on 24 September 2017 when Kipchoge won the Berlin Marathon in a time of 2:03:32. Beasting the rainy conditions, he went on to finish 14 seconds ahead of Guye Adola who ran his first marathon. Adola set the fastest marathon debut ever. Former marathon world record holder Wilson Kipsang and 2016 winner Kenenisa Bekele failed to finish.

Eliud Kipchoge’s Career Highlights from 2018

In 2018, Kipchoge won the London Marathon against a race that included Mo Farah (4 time Olympic gold medalist), who finished third with a time of 2:06:32 in his second marathon, Kenenisa Bekele (3 time Olympic gold medalist and World Record holder 5000 m and 10000 m), and defending champion Daniel Wanjiru.

On 16 September 2018, Eliud Kipchoge was the winner of the Berlin Marathon in a time of 2:01:39, breaking the previous world record by 1 minute and 18 seconds. He finished 4:43 min ahead of fellow Kenyan Amos Kipruto. 

World record marathon runner Eluid Kipchoge began the race with three pacemakers dedicated to him. After running for 5 km in the run, the gap between him and the Kipsang group was narrowed down to 9 seconds. After 15 km in the race, two of the pacemakers were unable to continue pacing along with him. The remaining pacemaker dropped out after 25 kilometres, leaving Eluid Kipchoge to cover the final 17 km alone. Even though Kipchoge had planned to run with a pacemaker though 30 km rather than 25 km, this adversity “was unfortunate,” he reflected and stated post-race, “but I had to believe”. 

Before the run, Kipchoge had stated that he planned to run a new personal best. The prize money he made for his Berlin run was 120,000 pounds, consisting of 30,000 pounds for finishing in less than 2:04 hours, 40,000 pounds for the win and a further 50,000 pounds for setting a new world record. The world record during this run was set at the 8th world record in 20 years in the men’s marathon at the Berlin marathon.

The pace during the run averaged 2:53/km. 

Eliud Kipchoge’s Career Highlights from 2019

World record Marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge became the first man to run a marathon in under two hours! Kipchoge won the 2019 London Marathon in a time of 2:02:37, the second-fastest marathon of all time, behind his 2018 Berlin Marathon win. His fourth win in London marks a new course record, beating his own 2016 London Marathon record by 28 seconds. The lead runner passed the half marathon mark at 1:01:37.

Ineos 1:59 Challenge

On May 2019, a few days after his London Marathon win, Eliud Kipchoge announced another take on the sub-two-hour marathon, named the Ineos 1:59 Challenge. This would be put to the test on October 12th 2019.

On 12 October 2019 in Vienna’s Prater park, he ran 4.4 laps of the Hauptallee in 1:59:40, successfully but unofficially breaking the two-hour barrier. Sadly, his effort did not count as a new world record under IAAF rules due to the setup of the challenge. Specifically, it was not an open event and Eliud Kipchoge was handed fluids by his support team throughout the run featured a pace car, and included rotating teams of other runners pacing Eliud Kipchoge in a formation designed to reduce wind resistance and maximize efficiency. 

Vienna’s Prater-Hauptallee has made history with an achievement considered one of the ultimate milestones in athletic performance. After he busts the mythical two-hour barrier for the marathon, “I am the happiest man,” said Eliud Kipchoge, adding that he hopes to have inspired many that “no human is limited.”

Uhuru Kenyatta, the Kenyan President congratulated Eliud Kipchoge in a tweet after the marathon: “You’ve done it, you’ve made history and made Kenya proud while at it.

“Your win today will inspire tens of future generations to dream big and to aspire for greatness,” Kenyatta added.

Adding that the 1:59 Challenge is different from running in a race like the Berlin Marathon, where he set the current world record in 2018, Eliud Kipchoge said that “Berlin is running and breaking a world record,”. “Vienna is running and making history, like the first man to go to the moon.”

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