About the challenge:
The World Awaits: Kipchoge to try to achieve the impossible
On 6 May 1964, Sir Roger Bannister achieved what many believed to be impossible and ran the world’s first sub-four-minute mile at the Iffley Road track in Oxford.
That historic achievement remains one of the most iconic events in the history of sport. 6 May 2019, on its 65th anniversary, Eliud Kipchoge, the greatest marathon runner of all time, announced his plan to break the legendary two-hour barrier.
The world marathon record holder (2:01:39) and Olympic champion over the distance has thrown down a challenge to humanity that no human is limited. And to prove it, he has invited the world to watch him attempt to run 42.195km in under two hours in Vienna, Austria — a task he insists is only curtailed by mental barriers.
“It gives me great pride to accept the challenge presented by INEOS. I am very excited about the months of good preparation to come and to show the world that when you focus on your goal, when you work hard and when you believe in yourself, anything is possible”
Eliud Kipchoge says, “I learnt a lot from my previous attempt and I truly believe that I can go 26 seconds faster than I did in Monza two years ago. It gives me great pride to accept the challenge presented by INEOS. I am very excited about the months of good preparation to come and to show the world that when you focus on your goal, when you work hard and when you believe in yourself, anything is possible”.
Eliud will be supported by Patrick Sang, his inspirational long-term coach, and the team that has led him throughout his successful career who will do all they can during the preparatory phase to ensure that nothing is left to chance.
“As Eliud showed in Monza, when he came within touching distance of achieving what many had previously thought impossible, he is a truly special athlete with incredible levels of mental resolve,” explains Patrick.
“Throughout his dazzling marathon career he has pushed the event to a new stratosphere and with the right preparation, I believe he has the ability to make history.”
A major marketing campaign will publicise the run and live coverage will be broadcast across the world, both on traditional and digital channels. Tens of thousands of spectators are expected to attend.
INEOS 1:59 Challenge is being supported by INEOS, one of the world’s largest manufacturing companies, which also sponsors the children’s running charities, GO Run For Fun and The Daily Mile.
On May 6 this year, Kipchoge told Associated Press: “I want to unlock that thought that there are limitations in the human being,” “There are no barriers when you believe in yourself and try and trust in what you are doing,” he added.
For his unflinching self-belief and infinite possibilities available to humanity, Kipchoge instantly gained the trust of British multi-billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, founder of chemicals group INEOS.
The Briton, estimated by London-based Sunday Times Rich List to be worth $28 billion, immediately declared he was opening his purse to 34-year-old to unlock human potential. Sir Ratcliffe says,
“Eliud Kipchoge is the greatest ever marathon runner and the only athlete in the world who has any chance of beating the two-hour time. We are going to give him every support and hopefully witness sporting history”.
Ratcliffe’s endorsement set in motion a flurry activities, ranging from identifying the race circuit, determining ideal weather conditions, Kipchoge’s training regime that includes running 200km per week just to get into tip-top shape.
The day of reckoning is October 12 with organisers setting an eight-day window (up to October 20) to pick the day when the weather conditions would be ideal for Kipchoge to attempt a sub-two-hour marathon.
Kipchoge did attempt to break the two-hour barrier in Monza, Italy on May 6, 2017, but ended up 25 seconds shot when he returned 2 hours and 25 seconds (2:00:25). The Vienna race, which will demonstrate the resilience of the human spirit, will no doubt send adrenaline levels running high around the globe. Every tissue in Kipchoge’s body, all vital organs starting with the heart and of course the brain will be stretched to the limit.
Gerald Lwande, a Biomedical Scientist at Precise Genomics Laboratories believes it will be the ultimate test for Kipchoge.
“I strongly believe his body will handle the rigours of the exercise,” Lwande said yesterday. “In Monza, Eliud achieved a time of 2 hours and 25 seconds. It is believed that with the improved shoe, hydration, course modification and other technologies; Eliud will run below two hours (1 hour 59 minutes) without any adverse physiological outcome.”
Like the rest of the world, Kenya with awaits one of their greatest sons to break the barrier that will inspire every soul in the world to pursue their countless possibilities. The World Awaits…Will the legendary runner set new heights in marathon? Run 42 kilometres under two hours? Time will tell. The World Awaits…
Sir Jim Ratcliffe: The Sh2.8 trillion tycoon 1:59 challenge sponsor
Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s bid to sponsor the INEOS 1:59 Challenge elicits a mixture of excitement and expectations.
He was born in 1952 and grew up in a council house in Greater Manchester, attending grammar school before studying chemical engineering at the University of Birmingham.
After graduating, he joined Esso before gaining business experience at a US private equity group.
But his big break through came in 1998 when he founded Ineos – a petrochemical company now with a turnover of £48bn and sites across 26 countries.
His own personal fortune – an estimated £21bn – led him to reach the number one spot of the 2018 UK Sunday Times rich list. In recent years Ratcliffe – knighted for his services to business – has continued to hit the headlines, largely for unconventional business moves.
In 2018, Ineos bought Belstaff, the luxury motorcycle clothing maker and became the sponsor of the British professional cycle team formerly called Team Sky.
The company also announced plans to build a new off-road vehicle based on the Land Rover Defender, which was discontinued in 2016.
Ratcliffe – a keen Brexiteer – is a known supporter of British brands and businesses, describing Britain as a “very creative nation, hard-working”. But perhaps this latest move is also down to his taste for adventure. He is funding Eliud Kipchoge’s bid to break the two-hour marathon.
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No human is limited.
When I’m on the starting line, my mind starts reviewing what I have been doing the last five months. I believe in my training, and I treat myself as the best one standing on that line.
To give anything less than our best is to sacrifice the gift
Only the disciplined ones are free in life. If you are undisciplined, you are a slave to your moods. You are a slave to your passions.
In life, the idea is to be happy. So, I believe in calm, simple, low-profile life. You live simple, you train hard and live an honest life. Then you are free.
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