Eliud Kipchoge Breaks the World Record for the Fastest Marathon


Crossing the finish line in Vienna, Eliud Kipchoge breaks the world record for the fastest marathon with his 1:59:40 time.

Christine Wu, Staff Reporter

Deafening cheers from the crowd echoes through the misty Saturday morning in Vienna as Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge breaks the world record for running the fastest marathon. What was once considered an unattainable feat, the two-hour marathon barrier was surpassed with the exact time of 1:59:40, nearly two minutes faster than the previous record. Spectators watched on as Kipchoge was lifted into the air by his team of forty-one professional runners who had acted as pacesetters during the run. “Together, when we run, we can make this world a beautiful world,” Kipchoge voiced following his extraordinary performance. 

As one can imagine, such an achievement called for a substantial amount of planning not only from Kipchoge, but also from his team and the organizers of the marathon. After much deliberation, the run’s organizer INEOS settled on Vienna as the perfect environment for the potentially monumental operation. The location was not too warm, not too cold, and not at all hilly. Moreover, the altitude of 540 feet above sea level was perfect, and Vienna was only one timezone away from Kipchoge’s training camp in Kaptagat, Kenya. During the four months leading up to the race, Kipchoge trained steadily under the guidance of his longtime coach, Patrick Sang. In addition to his normal preparations of eating, sleeping, and exercising for the sole purpose of running fast, he added workouts that focused on core strength to lessen the strain on his hamstrings.

Despite showing signs of strain during the first half of the race and falling a few seconds behind his desired pace in some portions, Kipchoge ran the rest of the marathon with a gentle smile. When it became clear that the milestone was in reach, the pacesetters gradually fell away from Kipchoge. Upon crossing the finish line, he jumped into the open arms of his wife and children. Junior Casey Burr in amazement with Kipchoge’s feat, shares that “what he did was truly amazing, because it’s not every day that world records get broken, especially by that large of a margin.”

Regretfully, the accomplishment could not be recognized as a world record because of two factors. Firstly, the race was not run under open marathon conditions, and secondly, Kipchoge’s run featured a dense rotation of professional pacesetters. Regardless of the technicalities, the achievement maintains its worth of being compared to humanity’s first journey to the moon.