Kenya’s marathon maestro Eliud Kipchoge flew out of Eldoret to Vienna in a chartered plane Monday night, ahead of his attempt to become the first man to run the 42-kilometre distance in under two hours this weekend.
Kipchoge, 34, is in a class of his own in global distance running. He shattered the world marathon record last year after running the distance in two hours, one minute and 39 seconds in Berlin, Germany.
His Ethiopian nemesis, multiple world distance running record holder Kenenisa Bekele, 37, came within two seconds of his record by running 2:01:41 last week.
But this coming weekend, Saturday on the streets of Vienna, Austria, Kipchoge will be chasing an iconic target, with his attempt, dubbed “INEOS 1:59 Challenge”, drawing global interest as the day gets closer.
The challenge is bankrolled by British billionaire Sir Tom Ratcliffe, the proprietor of INEOS Chemical firm.
Vienna City was picked for the venue of the INEOS 1:59 Challenge for its favourable weather conditions in the month of October. The first window for Kipchoge to run has now been narrowed to October 12 and 14, with a target date of Saturday, October 12.
The conditions at the moment are within an acceptable range for the first weekend of the window. To ensure that Kipchoge’s preparations for the challenge are flawless, Sir Ractliffe dispatched his private jet, a Gulfstream 280, valued at $24.5 million to pick and fly him to Vienna.